—Dynastic Beauty: An Introduction to Balinese Dance & Culture—Saturday, January 21, 2012, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
BALAM Dance Theatre (BALAM), a nonprofit dance theatre company, launches its 2012 season with the new educational program, Dynastic Beauty: An Introduction to Balinese Dance & Culture, at the Leonia Public Library, located at 227 Fort Lee Road in Leonia, New Jersey, on Saturday, January 21 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. The event is FREE and open to the public. In the event of inclement weather, a snow date is scheduled for January 28. For further information, contact the Leonia Public Library at (201) 592-5770.
BALAM, a New York City-based company, offers a new vision of contemporary dance by fusing ballet, modern and diverse cultural dance styles with Balinese theatre. The company’s new program at the Leonia Public Library features Nani Devi, BALAM Resident Balinese Guest Artist, and Carlos Fittante, Artistic Director, presenting a live dance performance of traditional Balinese choreographies.
The company plans to entertain the New Jersey audience with three quintessential Balinese dances: “Pendet” (welcome dance), “Baris” (warrior dance), and “Oleg Tambulilingan” (love dance of the bumblebees). Performers will dance in vibrantly colored, golden scrolled costumes to recordings of scintillating gamelan music by the world renowned Sanggar Semara Ratih of Ubud, Bali.
An educational video created by BALAM’s founding director, Islene Pinder, will present exclusive footage of Balinese daily life, providing a cultural context for the dances seen in the performance. The program will end with a Balinese dance lesson for the audience complete with colorful sarongs provided by BALAM.
Carlos Fittante specializes in Balinese and Baroque dance styles and performs as a guest artist in Baroque opera throughout the world. He is a graduate of the School of American Ballet and has performed extensively with many ballet companies. A certified yoga teacher, he also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Empire State College and currently teaches as a guest lecturer at Queens College in New York.
Nani Devi, BALAM Resident Balinese Guest Artist, was born in Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia. Ms. Devi began dancing at an early age and quickly distinguished herself with her natural grace and musicality. She specializes in classical Balinese dance, as well as those from Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Sulawesi and was selected by the Indonesian government to perform as a cultural ambassador around the world.
The BALAM History
BALAM offers a new vision of contemporary dance that emanates from a cutting-edge fusion of diverse cultural dance styles and movement techniques. The company’s fusion repertoire presents an opulent dance theatre that blends contemporary choreography, eclectic music, striking masks, imaginative props, and vibrant costumes to create a performance that appeals to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
In 1979, Islene Pinder, a Lehman College dance educator, founded the company and brought the mesmerizing Balinese dance theatre style to New York audiences. Under the directorship of Spanish-American choreographer Carlos Fittante, BALAM’s repertoire blends boldly divergent movements genres, including ballet, Spanish, Lester Horton, Baroque, Latin, Hip-Hop, drag, Noh, and karate, as well as Balinese.
BALAM has been featured at several distinguished festivals and venues, such as First Night New York; Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors; La Mama Experimental Theatre, New York, New York; Jacob's Pillow Dance
Festival, Lee, Massachusetts, and many others. The company has also appeared internationally at the Bali Arts Festival in Denpasar, Bali and the 2nd Encuentro Internacíonal de Danza Contemporánea in Cancún, Mexico.
The company’s work has received critical recognition from the New York Times and Village Voice. The Governor and people of Bali and the Indonesian Consulate of New York have highly commended its performances.
For further information, call 646-361-9183 or visit BALAM Dance Theatre on the web at www.balamdance.org and www.BalamDanceTheatre.BlogSpot.com. Stay updated about the company's new work, events, activities and announcements on Facebook, www.facebook.com/balamdancetheatre.
Photo : Nani Devi in Oleg Tambulilingan by Julie Lemberger