Although it will only officially commence with a grand parade on Saturday, June 19, usually presided over by the President, the month-long Bali Arts Festival has actually already been running for months as groups of singers, dancers, thespians and local orchestras have been rehearsing and competing on the village and regency level for the right to take center stage in Denpasar.
The very embodiment of cultural tourism, the Bali Arts Festival was started 26 years ago by late cultural visionary, Ida Bagus Mantra who, after serving as the Nation's Director General of Culture (1968-1978), continued his campaign of championing Balinese culture while serving from 1978 to 1988 as Governor of Bali. A man whose name is still spoken with admiration and reverence, Bapak Mantra was uncompromising in his view that culture should always occupy the driver’s seat in developing and controlling tourism development.
For each of its 26 years the Bali Arts Festival has grown both in size and reputation. Artists from across Indonesia come to Bali to perform and view the daily programs held on several stages across Denpasar. As in the past, foreign performers are also included with this year's Festival drawing artists from Korea and Japan.
For details and a complete performance schedule follow the link maintained by Bali Paradise On – Line.
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