A guest post by Della Burford
What a dream come true to go to Bali. Thanks to Khajsa from Sweden and my sister Norah, Bali was as I imaged and more. Khajsa suggested I meet I Made Sijia & I Made Sidia — master Balinese Wayang puppeteers and Master Dancers. Suasti and I Made Sidia welcomed me into their home and studio and introduced me to their family.
Traditions in Bali are handed down through generations and I was thrilled to see I Made Sidia training his son Sugi in both dance and puppeteering. I was also invited to the rehearsal of the production he is collaborating on at the Bali Safari — “Bali Agung – The Legend of Balinese Dieties” with 150 dancers.
My sister Norah knows Bali well and suggested many places to visit such as Besakih Mother Temple, Batur — an active volcano, batik artisans, and restaurants near rice fields and lotus ponds. It was also arranged by Dewar for me to storytell and share paintings and my book of Dodoland Adventures at a local school.
I saw the large Peace canvases displayed that were painted by children from all over the world in the “Guernica” show. I was enthralled with performances such as Cepuk Wisana dancing the Welcome Dance, playing instrumental music and the Birds of Paradise and Joged Dance. I was also lucky to see the Woman’s Kekak Fire Dance and the Children Gamelon Dance Group with the Barong Dance.
In the village of Mas on my final day I had lunch at the Rapuan Cili and then went to a Balinese Temple to bless a newborn in our family.
Classroom videoing was done by Wayan. The music added as background in parts is from Jamendo’s Balinea by Lan Van Someren.
Thank you everyone! Namaste!
— Della Burford