The Sarinbuana Arja Revival
BMR is helping to sponsor the newly formed Arja traditional drama group in the village.
The word “arja” is derived from the word “reja” means “beauty”. The birth of Arja can be traced back to the year around 1175-1825 in the reign of Dewa Agung Sakti, the king of Klungkung.
The first local performance was well received by many members of the village who had a great time watching their relatives and friends perform for the first time.
To enact a story, Arja performers incorporate intricate vocal forms, stylized dance movements and elaborate spoken dialogue, in response to the elaborate, melodic, and dynamic gamelan music played on a chamber-like ensemble known as Gamelan Gaguntangan featuring two bamboo zithers called guntang (McPhee 1966).
Four main scenes characterize the dramatic structure of an Arja performance. The first and the third scenes, usually serious in nature, are dedicated to the refined or alus characters (the heroine and the hero). In contrast, the second and the fourth scenes, usually full of humour and jokes, are for the strong and coarse or keras characters. These scenes indicate the importance of balance in Balinese culture.
What is distinctive is that the hero and heroine only sing, they are translated and interpreted throughout by servants, who therefore play many of the key roles. Arja is also interesting for other reasons. Most of the central roles – male or female – are conventionally played by women. And many of the plots of Arja are about the private side of public life and stress the personal rather then the public, dynastic and official accounts of other genres.
BMR totally supports this type of locally inspired project .....