BALINESE MUSIC AND DANCE HIGHLIGHT SPRING WORLD MUSIC SERIES OFFERINGS AT EASTMAN

March 28, 2001

More Information:
Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

ROCHESTER, NY – Rochester audiences will have the chance to hear and see the magical music, dance, and costumes of Bali again this year when the Eastman School of Music’s Balinese Gamelan Lila Muni ("Beautiful Sound") and Gamelan Kembang Salju ("Flower in the Snow") present an evening of sacred, secular, traditional, and new Balinese music and dance. The concert, which will feature world premieres as well as traditional dances inspired by the Hindu Ramayana epic, is at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in Kilbourn Hall (26 Gibbs St.). It is free and open to the public.

The performance, which will feature guest dancer Ni Luh Kadek Kusuma Dewi and Visiting Associate Professor of Gamelan I Nyoman Suadin, as well as nearly 50 Eastman students, faculty, and staff, will include music for gamelan angklung (a large bronze percussion orchestra of gongs, metallophones, and drums) as well as gamelan joged bumbung (a small ensemble of bamboo instruments). Dances will include the classical legong and modern joged, as well as several masked male topeng character dances long popular in Bali. As part of the female joged dance, members of the audience will have the chance to dance on stage with Balinese dancers.

"This year marks an enormous growth for gamelan at Eastman," says director and Associate Professor of Musicology Ellen Koskoff, who brought gamelan to Eastman nearly 10 years ago. "As the only non-Western ensemble at Eastman, we’ve experienced an influx of students and members of the greater Rochester community eager to participate in the rich and challenging music and dance traditions of Bali. Because of this, we’ve formed three ensembles and are now able to present more concerts than ever before and to offer a greater variety to our audiences."

Eastman’s gamelan ensembles have performed with Bobby McFerrin and the Paul Winter Consort. In addition to performing in Eastman’s World Music Series, the ensembles have performed at the Society for Ethnomusicology’s 2000 International Conference in Toronto and have hosted the Planet Gamelan festival.

Also on the spring World Music Series line-up are the Trinidadian sounds of Rochester’s own Pangaia Steel Drum Band at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in Kilbourn Hall. General admission tickets for this concert are $15 (free to UR students, discounts for UR ID holders) and are available at Ticket Express, 100 East Avenue, or by calling 222-5000. Tickets also may be purchased at the hall one hour prior to the start of the performance.

Eastman’s 2000-2001 World Music Series will come to a close with a lecture/demonstration by renowned South Indian musician Geetha Ramanathan Bennett at noon, Wednesday, April 25, in the School’s Gamelan Room (Room 12, Eastman Theatre). Bennett, who has performed extensively across India, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong, and has played on the soundtrack of the Imax film Everest, will demonstrate the sound and technique of the veena, a large South Indian lute with a wooden sounding bowl and separate sets of strings for drone and melody. Admission to this event is free, and it is open to the public.

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Note to editors: Photos of the gamelan and the Pangaia Steel Drum Band are available.