FLASHBACK Dance tour Bali – September 2004
Eighteen Japanese folk dancers participated in a successful dance tour to Bali.
Guest teacher Iliana Bozhanova from Bulgaria was accompanied by Lyuben Dossev, who added an extra musical touch to Iliana’s classes.
I was responsible for the Armenian classes and taught a few dances from other countries.
We alternated our classes in the morning and offered 3 hours of teaching before lunch.
Iliana, Merel & Tineke
Tanah Lot temple

There were also moments of catching a glimpse of the unspoiled Bali, when we toured the island by mini buses and visited the local market of Sukawati were no other tourists could be found.
The craftsmanship of the Balinese people is well known and our visit to a small cooperative of silver smiths and an ikat weaving-mill where local techniques were demonstrated, proved this point. ikat demonstration
In the afternoons we went sightseeing or there was free time to explore the island or to relax at the swimming pool.
In the excursions a lot of attention was given to Balinese culture, dance and customs.
We visited famous temples, and followed the tourist track by watching the sunset near Tanah Lot temple.
The open air dance hall in Ubud offered a rural view over the rice paddies and the cooler weather of this region made it a pleasant dance experience. Ducks were waggling through the paddies, locals working on the fields and we could enjoy this scenery during our classes.
open air dance hall in Ubud
view from Ananda Cottages
The artist colony of Ubud was the perfect place to come in contact with the authentic Bali.
We were lodging at Ananda Cottages just outside the village of Ubud. Balinese rice paddies cover part of the cottages' grounds and the beautiful garden as well as the Balinese style villas made it a perfect place to stay.
private performance Mrs. Cok Ratih The private performance of both Classical and Temple dance of Mrs. Cok Ratih was one of the highlights of our visit. She is not only a beautiful dancer and teacher, but also shared her vast knowledge of Balinese dance. This offered a unique opportunity to our group to ask questions, which led to interesting stories.

We also visited a Kecak dance performance and some members enjoyed a visit to a local spa for a traditional Balinese body treatment.

After Ubud we moved to Intan Bali Village Hotel at Seminyak Beach. This hotel offers privacy and seclusion in a traditional rural location and still within easy reach from well known tourist centers. All the facilities are situated in a tropical garden, and the dance hall is air-conditioned. The shuttle service to the nearby cities was used frequently by our group.

Our dinner one night at Jimbaran Beach was a very pleasant local experience. You pick the local fresh fish and it is cooked and served at the table.

dinner at Jimbaran Beach
Bali

During our breaks the hotel staff served water and they were very surprised and enjoyed watching us dance. The fact that they attended our rehearsals was probably the biggest compliment of our dance achievements. It wasn’t easy to explain that we were just dancing for our pleasure and that tickets were not necessary.

Looking back on this first dance tour to Bali, the conclusion is: it was a big success.

A repetition of this tour can certainly be expected in the future, but in 2005 a dance tour to Armenia will offer a visit to another interesting culture.