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LSO Discovery: Gamelan - Sounds From Bali

Lila Bhawa - LSO Discovery Gamelan Sounds From Bali

On the 17th November I had the pleasure of once again photographing the fabulous Lila Bhawa Indonesian Dance UK and the gamelan orchestras LSO Community Gamelan Group and Gamelan Lila Cita at LSO St. Luke's in London. (Click here to see my photos from previous performance.) The evening was a spectacular celebration of cross-arts combining the 'hypnotic rhythms of gamelan (directed by composer and gamelan expert Andy Channing) with the vibrant energy of traditional Indonesian dance'.

The following text comes from LSO Discovery: Gamelan - Sounds From Bali official programme.

Unlike the Western orchestra in which percussion instruments often play a supportive role, the Balinese gamelan orchestra consists almost entirely of tuned bronze gongs and metallophones. These produce a fast and dynamic music, characterised by complex interlocking melodic and rhythmic patterns, punctuated by sonorous gongs.

LSO Community Gamelan Group was founded in 2003 by LSO Discovery. The players are from diverse backgrounds and meet weekly during term time at LSO St. Luke's where they are the resident performers on this wonderful gamelan.


Kana Alam, Yustia Bird, Charlie Cawood, Arthur Gerrard, Kit Greveson, Ellen Harris, Ford Hickson, Chantal Janvier, Tyrone Kamran, Josh Lee, Peter Maurer, Jonathan Morgan, Philippa Morgan, Ashly Nandong, Vincent Oliver, Jeffert Pike, Alison Rice, Libby Rice, Sarah Louise Renwick, Carole Ryu, Emily Shapiro, Darja Sidorova, James Soteriou, Isis Wolf-Light and Masaki Yoshida.

Gamelan Lila Cita (meaning 'amusement of the heart' or 'happiness') was founded exactly 25 years ago, in March 1992, by Andy Channing. The group has played throughout the UK and abroad, including performances at Foundation la Caixa in Barcelona, St. James's Palace, Royal Opera House and Glastonbury Festival.


Kaori Allenson, Gill Bland, Margaret Coldiron, Debbie Fether, Paula Friar, Emily Garland, Mel Green, Olivia Harris, Robert Hills, Manuel Jimenez, Dawn Kelleher, Kate Marris-Gant, Peter Maurer, Putu Agung Sidhi Narendra, Laurel Pardue, Will Procter, Innes Rock, Liz Routhorn, Ben Smith, Lucie Treacher, Kate Wakeling and Isis Wolf-Light.

Indonesian Dance UK is a London-based Indonesian dance group, specialising in classical dances of Bali and Java. The group was set up by Ni Made Pujawati in 2001 and includes a number of experienced performers, together with younger dancers who started learning dance in the UK. Lila Bhawa performed with Lila Cita at the 2006 Bali Arts Festival.


Ni Made Pujawati (Artistic Director), Dewi Ariati, Saryani Asmayawati, June Baker, Marselina E. Binstead, Catherine Henryanto, Alexandra Kulanthai, Anit Nainggolan, Diana Farisah Rahman, Andrea Rutkowski, Laura Scalon, Shealla Withers

The Dance Performances

Tari Puspanjali

This popular welcome dance was choreographed in 1989 by Ni Luh Swasthi Wijaya Bandem, with music by I Nyomen Windha, as a modern re-interpretation of the ceremonial Rejang dance. The dance was premiered by 70 dancers at the opening of PERWOSI (Persatuan Wanita Olahraga Seluruh Indonesia), the association of women in athletics throughout Indonesia. Puspa means 'flower' and anjali means 'respect'.

Tari Kembang Girang

Kembang Girang was inspired by Joged and Janger (the headdresses and fans, in particular) and Jaipongan from West Java. The dance was produced for Werdhi Budaya Art Centre in Denpasar, Bali, with choreography by I Ketut Rena and music by I Ketut Budiana, originally using the slendro scale.

Tari Tedung Sari

Tedung Sari is a new dance for Lila Cita and Lila Bhawa. However, it was choreographed in about 1988 by I Nyoman Suarsa (aka Yan Pung), with music by I Nyoman Sudarna. The dance makes a big feature of the Tedung, a special type of parasol with symbolic meaning for the Balinese and important in temple ceremonies. Sari means 'essence'.

Photos copyright Spencer Lloyd Peet 2017. All rights reserved.

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