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I Mario with Gamelan Orchestra [1928, Bali]

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Film Identifier: F.2011-05-0066
Run Time
0h 4m 25s
Date Produced
"I Mario" (I Ketut Marya) is a famous Balinese dancer who created the kebyar duduk dance in 1925, based on the gong kebyar style/genre of gamelan Balinese music that developed in the early 1900s. Gamelan is an Indonesian ensemble music most common to Java and Bali.  A gamelan orchestra consists primarily of percussive instruments, especially metallophones.  

This film appears to represent footage of I Mario performing: he first joins the gamelan orchestra by playing the bonang, and then demonstrates his kebyar duduk dance.
The film opens with a shot of musical instruments and their players arranged in a rectangular formation on a ground lined with light woven mats.  Behind them, an audience watches.  At the center of the rectangle sits I Mario, who is playing the bonang with two thin sticks, dextrously manipulating them not unlike a baton-twirler.  He wears a long kamben, wrapped tightly around his upper body but loose and draped below, and an intricate head-piece.  Mario takes a break during this playing to scoot back a bit and perform a brief dance while still holding the sticks.  The dance involves small changes in facial expression as well as arm and wrist movements.

The film then cuts forward a bit to I Mario's full-fledged kebyar duduk, during which he is always crouched, never standing, and holds a fan in one hand.  He moves both the fan and his free hand quickly; as they flick and flit about, he also sometimes undulates his neck and bounces on his haunches.  The film cuts frequently to different segments of his dance, some of which are performed more slowly than others.  Eventually, it ends while he is still dancing.

Actors, Performers and Participants
Marya, I Ketut (is performer)
Related Place
Bali (production location of)