The Bali Arts Festival is a full month of daily performances, handicraft exhibitions and other related cultural and commercial activities during which literally the whole of Bali comes to the city to present its offerings of dance, music and beauty. On display are trances from remote mountain slopes, forgotten or recently revived village dances, food and offering contests, classical palace dances, stars of Balinese stage, odd musical performances, “kreasi baru” (new creations) from the dance schools of Denpasar, as well as contemporary choreography and dance companies from other islands and from abroad.
It is a month long revelry that perhaps no other place in the world can put up on such a low budget as the Balinese. Not only is their traditional culture alive and well, but they have a tremendous pride in it.
It begins in the villages, where the seka or cultural groups are selected and organized at the regency level, vie with each other to perform the Arts Festival and thus display in front of a large audience the uniqueness of their village of birth and resting place of their ancestors.
The Bali Arts Festival is the Denpasar cultural event of the year, perhaps it would no be too far fetched to suggest that it is the cultural event of Indonesia. The festival is thus a unique opportunity to see local village culture both “live” and at first hand. Tourists are warmly welcomed.
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