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Sister Act

Group Gedebong Goyong the Swinging Banana Stem Sisters Thrill Audiences at 34th Bali Arts Festival

(6/25/2012) An eclectic group of expatriate ladies amused and enthralled the Balinese and international crowd in attendance at the Bali Arts Festival on Friday, June 22, 2012, performing musical skits, stand-up comedy and light-hearted social commentary.

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Known as the “Group Gedebong Goyong” or the “Swinging Banana Stem Sisters” – the groups derives it name from a local connotation for foreign women that compares them to succulent pale-colored stems of the banana palm.

Long-time residents of Bali - Rucina Ballinger, Alex Ryan, Suzan Kohlik and Antonella De Santis - are backed up by a group of local ethnic musicians. Dressed to sixes and sevens in traditional Sarong Kebaya’s, the four outlandish ladies leave local audience reeling in laughter, performing spirited renditions of Balinese pop songs while delivering fast-firing one-liners in fluent Balinese.

Featuring non-stop humorous antics, the talented vaudevillian gaggle of gals deliver subtle messages to appreciative young audiences on the dangers of overdevelopment and ununcontrolled villa building together with gentle nudges to preserve and protect Balinese culture.

Rucina Ballinger, a member of the group, told Radar Bali that the Sisters Act was formed during the time of the Bali bomb. Seeing neighbors and friends in deep depression following that tragedy, the women resolved to form a group to entertain and brighten the hearts of neighbors and friends.

Regularly featured at local festivals and gatherings, the “Swinging Banana Stem Sisters” have a growing, loyal fan base eagerly awaiting their next performance.