Gamelan Sekar Jaya
Balinese music and dance
Gamelan Sekar Jaya is a sixty-member company of musicians and dancers, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in the performing arts of Bali. Founded in 1979, Gamelan Sekar Jaya’s mission is to foster artistic exchange between Bali and the United States through residencies, workshops, performances, and the creation of innovative new works of music and dance; and to share the excitement of this exchange with diverse audiences in California, the US, and abroad.
Gamelan Sekar Jaya comprises several kinds of gamelan orchestras—currently including kebyar, angklung, jegog, and gender wayang—and dancers. True to the Balinese tradition, musicians and dancers learn through direct imitation and training from master musicians, without the aid of notation. In various combinations, these ensembles have presented over five hundred concerts in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The organization hosts an extensive educational program, offering workshops and classes in Bay Area schools and community centers, bringing understanding and appreciation of Balinese arts to diverse audiences.
Central to the group’s success is the presence of master Balinese artists. More than fifty of Bali’s most brilliant performers have joined Gamelan Sekar Jaya as artists-in-residence, for periods ranging from one month to two years. They lead rehearsals and performances, and are featured in workshops, school programs, and lecture-demonstrations.
Gamelan Sekar Jaya participated in ACTA’s Traditional Arts Development Program, receiving support for the ensemble to work with artist-in-residence Emiko Saraswati Susilo for a three-month period in late 2009.
A 2017 Living Cultures grant will provide opportunities for Balinese, Indonesian and Bay Area families to learn songs and language through workshops, gatherings and public performances, deepening an understanding of the role of language in the living Balinese performing arts traditions.