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Festivals & Events : The Legendary 40th Bali Arts Festival: Fire, the Spirit of Creation

The grand arts fiesta on the beautiful island of Bali will again turn the spotlight on this tourist paradise when the 40th edition of the annual Bali Arts Festival will be rolled out from 16thJune to 14th July 2018, centered at Bali’s Art Center in Denpasar, capital city of Bali Province.

During one whole month, the best of this idyllic tropical island’s dance, music, and artistic expressions will be displayed to the public when Bali showcases its best cultural presentations, presented and revived by villagers across the island. There will be daily performances of traditional and modern dance and music alongside countless related cultural and commercial activities during which literally the whole of Bali will swarm into the city to present offerings of dance, music, excitement, color and stunning beauty. The month-long festival will commence with a parade featuring arts from all districts in Bali and other Indonesian provinces.

This year, the Festival carries the theme “TejaDharmaningKoripan” meaning: Fire, The Spirit of Creation. From its physical perspective, the theme illustrates that human life cannot be separated from fire since it is necessary for many activities such as cooking or in its broader aspect as a source of energy. From the spiritual perspective, the theme suggests that humans must be able to manage and control the fire or energy within. When it is poorly controlled, then this ‘fire’ can turn to anger and recklessness. On the other hand, when one is able to control the fire within, then he or she will be able to activate the chakra that can provide more spiritual strength. For this reason, the symbol of fire has always been an inseparable part of many ritual ceremonies held by Balinese Hindu followers.

The annual Bali Arts Festival traditionally kicks off with a grand opening parade that passes by the Bajra Sandhi Monument. The next days, a number of stages as well as different venues will reverberate with the a range of diverse colorful performances presented by the numerous art groups from Bali and other Indonesian islands.

Among notable highlights not to be missed are dance dramas (Sendratari), Bali’s Modern theatre, Photography Workshops, Culinary festivals, and musical performances. There will also be a wide choice of competitions to participate in that include documentary movies competitions, handicrafts, literary writing, painting, photography competitions, – the whole gamut. Parades and dramatic and opulent processions will also be shown including the Gong Kebyar, the TopengPancaNglawangDramatariArjaWayang Kulit ParwaJoged Bumbung, and more.

As a special treat this year, also on the agenda re the Modern Bondres (Comedy Play) Competition, the Baleganjur Competition for Children, Drama Gong Parade featuring Balinese modern lyrics, Wayang Kulit Babad, and other new creative artistic performances.

Through its 40 years history, the Bali Arts Festival has been a media to rediscover and preserve the unique and celebrated arts and culture of Bali, while at the same time increase its people’s welfare. Through this special annual event, it is hoped that the true authentic, embedded wisdom and philosophy of Bali will not only be preserved but will continue to blossom and spread out to other parts of the world.