Artists perform a traditional dance during a cultural parade marking the 248th anniversary of Gianyar in Bali on May 1. (Antara Photo/Nyoman Hendra Wibowo)

Bali Arts Festival to Kick Off on Saturday


JUNE 12, 2019

Jakarta. The Bali Arts Festival, the holiday island's biggest cultural event, is set to take place between June 15 and July 13.

The 41st iteration of the annual festival, which will be hosted by the Taman Werdhi Budaya Art Center in Denpasar and several other venues, will feature performances and attractions by participating countries and a parade, scheduled to be opened by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. About 4,000 people are expected to participate in the parade, which will start at the Perjuangan Rakyat Bali Monument in Denpasar on Saturday.

The United States, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Russia and Singapore have confirmed their participation and sent cultural ambassadors to the event.

Guo Haodong, China's consul general in Denpasar, said his country will be represented by a cultural group from Kunming in Yunnan Province. He said Yunnan and Bali used to be "sister provinces."

"The group will perform songs, dances and play musical instruments from various Chinese ethnic groups, such as the Dai, Wa, Yi and so on, during this year's Bali Arts Festival," Guo said.

He added that the group will perform from 7.30 p.m. on June 17 at the Ksirarnawa Building at the Taman Werdhi Budaya Art Center. Entry will be free.

There will be seven daily performances during the festival, or 220 in total, during the month-long event, which will include 38 competitions, 10 workshops and several other cultural activities.

Plastic-Free Festival

Made Suarja, head of the Bali Cultural Park's technical unit, said the provincial government selected "Bayu Pramana: Glorifying Wind Resources" as the theme for this year's festival.

He added that the organizers are committed to eliminating the use of plastic materials during the event, in accordance with a regulation issued by the provincial governor to limit plastic waste. All the decorations will therefore be made from natural materials.

"We only use decorations made from prada and bamboo. Those made of plastic are no longer used," Made said, referring to a specific type of batik.

I Wayan Adnyana, head of the Bali provincial department of culture, said the organizers will also use natural materials, such as coconut milk, palm leaves, bamboo and various types of flowers as decorations.