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No More Traditional Performances in Hotels?

Bali's PHRI Chief Wants Villages to Become the New Venues for Traditional Music and Dance Performances.

(7/11/2005) The Indonesian-language Bisnis Bali quotes the Chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Tjokorda Ardana Sukawati, as suggesting that star-rated hotels stop presenting Indonesian dance and musical groups at their properties. Tjokorda was quoted as saying he feels that cultural programs in particular dance presentations should be gradually moved back to stagings reserved exclusively for the home villages of the performers.

Saying he shared a common concern that artists and performers in Bali are under-valued and under-paid, a facts he thinks is proven at least in part by the open trucks used to transport performing groups from villages to hotel venues where groups of 20-30 entertainers are paid as little as "one or two million Rupiahs"(approximately US$100 -$200) for the entire performance troupe. This arrangement leaves each participant with as little as one or two dollars for his or her contribution in an entire evening's performance.

Tjokorda told Bisnis Bali that by limiting cultural performance to local villages the multiplier effect for local economies would be enhanced through the resulting sales of handicrafts and refreshments.

Tjokorda told the press that he had outlined his idea to Bali's Governor, Dewa Beratha, who warmly endorsed his suggestions for improving the economic welfare of local artists groups.

According to Tjokorda, if something is not done to improve the lot of Bali's musicians and dancers, he is worried that the younger generation will have little interest in choosing the traditional performing arts as their profession.