Perfoming for Tourists (Redefining Performances, Performers and Audiences)

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Item Code: NAF657
Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Author: Shiva Rijal
Language: English
Edition: 2010
ISBN: 9788124605431
Pages: 204 (19 Color Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch
Weight 500 gm
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Book Description
Back of book

This book is about the culture of performing traditional dance, drama and musical forms for tourists, and is based on the research carried out at ubud (Bali / indonesia). This book argues that the achievements made by the custodians of the Balinese performance culture in Ubud need to be given a greater consideration because of: (a) existence and condition of traditional dance, drama and musical forms in several geo- cultural spaces throughout the world, (b) emergence of eco – cultural tourism, and knowledge of performing and managing traditional dance drama forms in changed social and cultural contexts.

This book argues that religious and cultural faith associated with certain traditional dance, drama and musical forms alone cannot help the later ones to carve out a secure future for such cultural art forms, individual talents need to invent and intervene from within.

This book makes a suggestion that the people of the Asian countries should not only live with feelings of sharing similar traditional art forms of the olden days but should also look at the present reality of the times when transformations are taking place in such traditional art forms because of the cross- cultural movements of people, especially those of the tourists.


About the author

Shiva Rijal (1974), a phD on cross – cultural theatre and lecture at the central department of English (Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal) has written books, half a dozen journal articles on Nepali theatre and Performances culture .He also practice Nepali theatre and teaches Performances Studies at the Department.



My involvement in the performance culture studies is only a decades old. I became familiar with the Balinese performance culture a as important topic for research through the work of Clifford Geertz and Richard Schechner for the first time. My interest in it grew further as I started reading and writing on the Newar performance culture of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal which coincided with my ongoing research on” Cross Culture Theatre” for my PhD. This book developed out of this juncture of my career.

The age – old traditional Newar dance and drama forms in the Kathmandu Valley have faced hard times as they are performed only on a few cultural occasions in a year though one cannot deny the fact that a large number of local and metropolitan audience would love to watch them throughout the year. The community- based organizational forms created to manage and look after such art and cultural modes of expressions in the past in the Valley have not been able to spell out their pragmatic roles in the process of continuity and change in the state of the Newar performance culture in the Kathmandu of our times. A culture of disseminating traditional dance and drama forms among the youth of all sexes is yet to be invented though the cultural and tourism policy makers have always harped on traditional performance culture of the Valley to widen the sphere of tourism business in Nepal. Therefore, discourses about traditional Balinese dance and drama forms thriving in the recent times in the context of tourism business made me realize the rationale of conducting the research that this book is mainly based upon.

I set out to research on the Balinese performance culture practiced for the tourists in Ubud under the hypothesis that the Asian countries, for that matter, any communities in the common heritage of arts and cultural practice of the older present times when transformations are taking place in the realms of such arts and cultural practice emanating from the cross- cultural movements of the people, especially the tourists.

My encounter with the culture of “ performing for tourists” in Ubud (bali) came as an intervention in my system of understanding the traditional dance, drama and musical forms in the context of globalization. I take this as a source of inspiration and guidance for my further works. But I must say here that I am not a bureaucrat nor am I involved in any not involved in sectors of cultural tourism as such , I am a theater person and an academic by profession , Therefore, I feel free to formulate the narrative that this book unfolds.

I take the performance culture practiced for the tourists in Ubud as a proof of the fact that traditional dance, drama and musical forms too can draw global and metropolis audience in a regular basis. The” wordless” of the culture of performing for tourists in Ubud live a reality which is that they are not the breachers of the matrix of the cultural and spiritual order that their art forms are often associated with. Neither can they be defined as mere “opportunity and pressure” grabbers and bearers brought in by tourism business. As the custodians of their ages- old art and culture, they have redefined themselves, and their traditional forms set to manage their traditional dance, drama and ceremonies in a new cultural context. They, as the “worlders” of the culture of performing for tourists have created an imported zone of dissemination of the art and skills of dance and music of the traditional of the art and skills of dance and music of the traditional order in Ubud. As a result the number of performing groups has increased in the recent times, so has the strength of the semiotics and ideology associated with the traditional Balinese dance and drama forms that have expanded in recent times.

This book is a result of my quest as a theatre person. It is a narration of my personal experience of watching over two thousand artists performing for the tourists in Ubud and around. During my research, I watched over 150 performances temple ceremonies. My meeting with several writers, researchers and artists from Bali and around the world has helped me to formulate the present narration. Therefore, I must express my gratitude to the performers whom I met in Ubud as well as their audience. I found myself amidst the wonders and epiphanies as I watched the world-famous art practitioners performing on a regular basis for the metropolitan audiences, the tourists. The state of traditional Newar dance and drama forms and their practitioners in the Kathmandu Valley coursed through my mind as I watched the works of the Balinese artists performing for the tourists. I wrote a couple of articles on the possibility of creating a similar performing culture in Kathmandu and got them published in the national dailies. Thus the narrative that this book unfolds has been indirectly set by the socio-aesthetic context of the place that I belong to physically as well as emotionally.

I must state here again, I am neither a bureaucrat nor a cultural policy make but a theatre person and academician. Moreover, I am very much aware that my stay in Ubud was only a nine-month-long. I am responsible for any discourses demanding lengthier treatments, and errors.




  Preface vii
  Acknowledgements xv
  List of illustrations xix
1 Route To Bali 1
  Traditional Dance, Drama and Tourists 1
  Framework 4
  Research Route to Bali 5
  Cross- Cultural Theatre and Beyond 7
  Limitations 10
2 Tourists, Researchers and The Ubudian Performance Culture 13
  Tourists as Audience 13
  Glocal Ubud 15
  Balinese Performing Culture: Continuity and Change 19
  Images Bombed 21
  Performing for Gods and Tourists 23
  Economy of Performing for Tourists 25
  Performing a Research on Ubud's Performance Culture 30
3 Makers and maintainers of images Of balinese performance culture 35
  Balipedia and Tourism 35
  The importance of Being Image Creators 38
  Kebyar Images of the Balinese Performance Culture 45
  Locals as Image Maintainers 48
  Canonisers of Balinese Dance and Drama 51
  Old and New Images? 58
4 Performing For Tourists :Blamed And Defended 61
  History 61
  Performing for Toursits: Blamed 65
  performingfor Tourists: Defended 70
  Verities Happen 74
  Performing in a Different Manner 80
  Kecak Means kecaks 84
  Changes but Slow 88
  Some Needed Transformations 89
5 Past, Present and Future of The Culture Of Performing For Tourists In Ubud 93
  Tourism and The Ubudians 93
  The Past and the Present of Performing for Tourists In Ubud 95
  Banjar and Ubud's Performance Culture 100
  Abud as Zones of Learning 110
  Women Performers in Ubud 113
  University Graduates and Local Performers 115
  Future of Ubud's Performance Culture 121
6 Redefining Audience, performances And Performers 125
  Tourist and the Performance Culture 125
  Problematic of Canon 127
  Anthropologists and Tourists 128
  Expatriates and Tourists 131
  Tourists of the Past and the Present 133
  Local Audience and Tourists 134
  Nature of Art and the Importance of Performing for Tourists 136
  Performers and Tourists 139
7 Performing For Tourists And Beyond 143
  Exigency of Performing 143
  Redefining Tourists, Performances and Artists 144
  But why Tourism? 149
  Traditional Perfomance Cultures in the Republic Nepal 150
  Glossary 157
  Bibliography 163
  Index 173

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