WEATHER »

UCSB Arts and Lecture

Çudamani Gives Rare Public Performance

Balinese Dance and Music Ensemble Lights Up UCSB’s Campbell Hall


For those fortunate enough to have visited the island of Bali, the intrinsic spirituality that informs the island’s way of life is an experience you don’t soon forget, with permeating clouds of burning incense and ritualistic gatherings at every pass. At the core of these ceremonial rites are the soothing, percussive sounds of gamelan music, a name derived from the mallets used to strike the wide-ranging display of metallophone instruments that are the centerpiece of these dazzling ensembles, and a musical tradition in existence as far back as the 1300s.

Last week, Santa Barbara audiences were treated to a rare public performance by one of the island’s most revered ensembles, Çudamani, which traditionally consigns its expert dexterity with classic and original music and dance to Balinese spiritual ceremonies and festivities. In an entrancing program that moved harmoniously from a minimalist instrumental introduction to a full, 25-member cast of dancers and singers pulsating through the sounds of the kendang (Balinese drums) and suling (bamboo flutes), the artists captured the essence of the Çudamani, the third eye of Shiva the Destroyer, reflecting sincerity and purity and the abolishment of ignorance.

The music and performances were centered on themes of earth and land, as demonstrated brilliantly by the final piece of the evening, when the male musicians surreptitiously peeled off their embroidered tunics and batik scarves, transforming themselves into bare-chested creatures of the island (complete with macaque monkey howls and the throaty calls of Balinese toads) and capturing the mystical essence of this beloved part of the world.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Steven Seagal Named Special Envoy by Russia

The former Santa Ynez resident is a Russian citizen.

County Services Transitioning Away from Montecito Disaster Center

Post-1/9 support will still be available at readysbc.org.

Goleta Limits Accessory Dwelling Units to 800 Square Feet

The city followed most of the state's ADU rules, though two large projects swept through before the ...

New Coast Guard Cutter Named After Fallen Officer

Terrell Horne III was murdered near Santa Cruz Island in 2012.

SBCC Promise a Draw for High School Grads

Program offers two free years to dedicated students.