Tag ‘Suar Agung’
Nov. 24, 2015
Japan was getting ready for winter when we boarded the plane for Bali and the heat that greeted us here was way beyond what I had imagined. Our first performance is Negara went well and we have just arrived in Denpasar. The staff in Negara gave us such a warm welcome and I was so grateful everyday while we were there.
In Bali, my five senses are bustling with sensations I have never experienced before, but it is somehow nostalgic here and the nature and people remind me of Japan. The roots of our cultures feel very close even though they are somewhat different in form.
Suar Agung really set the Shiroyama Concerts on fire at Earth Celebration in August. It is hard to find the right words just yet to describe our first performance in Bali, but I can say that when their groove surrounded us on stage, we felt that they had turned the heat up even further…
We are counteracting their heat with a powerful freshness, like the wind on Sado Island, which we hope will resonate with Suar Agung and the audiences.
Nov. 23, 2015
Collaborations with Suar Agung in Bali
Kodo and Suar Agung have enjoyed exchange and collaborations together since 1984 in Japan and this year marks our first collaborations with them in Bali, Indonesia. Our performance in Negara, where Suar Agung is based, welcomed an audience of around 600 people. Many of them were local families and there were also Japanese people who live in Bali and from other islands in Indonesia.
The first half of the concert featured Suar Agung and Indonesian dance. Seeing the dancers dance down the stairs of the temple was so exotic! Some of the moves were humorous, too, so I enjoyed seeing their wide array of expressions.
Kodo performed in the second half and we also received a lot of cheers and applause. The audience in Bali hummed along to our music, smiled, and really showed us that they were enjoying our performance. Their obvious pleasure made the Kodo members smile so much on stage.
On Nov. 24 we have another performance in Denpasar. It will be over 30 degrees there. We will do our very best!
Nov. 22 (Mon) & 24 (Tue), 2015 “Project Connect Asia with Traditional Performing Arts” Kodo & Suar Agung Collaboration (Bali, Indonesia)
Visit to Bali
Leonard Eto, Kinu Watanabe of the Japan Foundation, Makoto Shimazaki (Chairman of Kodo Cultural Foundation) and I visited Bali, Indonesia, in order to explore the possibilities for our upcoming collaborative performances at EC (for the first time in 18 years) and also for future Kodo performances in Bali. For Leonard and myself, it was our first trip to Bali in 20 years, but the moment we felt the warm, humid air of the tropics, we were overcome by nostalgia and everything felt familiar again right away.
Our reunion with Suwentra, the leader of Suar Agung, also felt so natural… it was as if no time had passed at all. We spoke fondly of our memories together, and continued our recent conversations about this year’s performance at EC without reservation.
The next day, we went to Nugara, the western region of Bali where their headquarters are located. There, Leonard led rehearsals with Suar Agung, keeping in mind the vision of Mitsuru Ishizuka who is directing the performance “Shukusai” on the final night of EC. It was indeed a fruitful visit.