Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Indonesian Arts

Indonesian arts and crafts are powerful and wonderful expressions of life, born out of an extraordinarily rich cultural heritage. Many traditional works of art were developed in the courts of former kingdoms such as those centered in Java and Bali.

“Wayang” theaters from Java and Bali, for example, originate from ancient Hindu mythology and feature portions of the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics adapted to suit local conditions and age-old traditions.

Rigid discipline and artistry are the hallmarks of dances from Java and Bali, but those of Sumatra, Maluku and most of the other islands (one exception is the Gending Sriwijaya of South Sumatra) are characterized by a more flexible gracefulness and charm, a distinction which is further accentuated by an entirely different, non-gamelan, musical accompaniment.

Artistic traditions are actively being preserved in the many art and dance schools which flourish not only in the courts but also in modern, government-run or supervised art academies.


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