Balinese Dance Workshops

For the Balinese, dance is not only a form of entertainment but a sacred ritual
to please the deities and ancestors, as well as the medium for traveling
between “Sekala”, the world of form, and “Niskala”, the world of spirits.  
Purnama Sari’s dance workshop focuses on the mysticism behind the dance
rather than just teaching particular movement and dance techniques.  It is a
spiritual experiment through which participants explore the beliefs and
worldview of Balinese-Hinduism. This is the unique blend of Hinduism, Tantric
Buddhism, native animism, ancestor worship and magico-religious rituals. The
core philosophy of Balinese-Hinduism is to maintain the balance of opposite
forces, such as “yin and yang”, ‘male and female”, and “good and evil”.  This
principle is beautifully reflected in Balinese dance, where movements are
repeated on the right and left sides to establish harmony.  Workshop
participants are invited to try basic Balinese dance movements that require
dancers to  constantly shift their weight from one foot to the other,
demonstrating human control over imbalance.  Participants also learn how
Balinese dancers utilize the unique eye movement called “Seledet” and
experience the challenge of conscious gazing to disperse spiritual energy
through the eyes.
Copyright © 2014 Purnama Sari Balinese Performing Arts Company.
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Interactive Lectures

Purnama Sari’s lecture begins with an overview of Balinese-Hinduism and explores the relationship between the former and
dance. The lecture also examines Balinese dance from a cross-cultural perspective and archetypal psychology. The root of
Balinese dance is traced to “Gambuh”, the ancient dance-drama that has been in existence for 500 years.  Gambuh was
developed from court dances of Java, Indonesia, which were highly influenced by Indian Hinduism and Tantric Buddhism.  
Thus, Balinese dance is originally a rich alchemy of Hinduism, Buddhism, and native animism.  It keeps evolving under the
influence of modernism.   
"The  classes I took with Surapsari on Javanese and Balinese dance were a wonderful introduction to these profound and exotic
traditions. Surapsari is an excellent teacher – interweaving her own direct and extensive experience of these cultures and dance forms
with a wide and detailed knowledge acquired over the course of many years of dedicated study. Her love of the dances, mysticism and
people of Bali and Java is clearly communicated through a rich fabric of myth, anecdotes, history, mystical ‘theory’ behind the dance
and the demonstration of certain mudras and techniques. I can wholeheartedly recommend her as both dancer and teacher and hope
very much to continue classes with her myself in the near future.
                                                                                                                             Victoria Negrete, UK/Mexico
Photo courtesy of Sam Laundon