This is a study of “Jauk Manis,” a traditional Balinese dance piece that sheds light on the techniques of performance-based variation used in gamelan music. It is a free-standing dance piece derived from a character originally presented in the traditional dance drama, Calonarang. The Jauk character represents a guardian spirit. Its characterization is developed through the costume, choreography, and music of the solo dance. The musical accompaniment is defined by consistencies within its form, content, and rhythmic variation, however, no two performances of “Jauk Manis” are alike. The shared leadership roles of the dancer, drummer, and flute players contribute to the distinctiveness of each performance, as do the specific context and the interpersonal dynamics between a particular gamelan and dancer. A comparison of several renditions of “Jauk Manis,” illustrated by musical examples, reveals the range of variation that occurs in this dance. Ethnographic interviews with musicians and dancers explain the interaction among the various performers. The significance of this study is that it provides a model for comprehending sources of variation in other genres of Balinese music. An understanding of the interaction between the dancer and musicians in a more improvisational piece, such as “Jauk Manis,” illuminates the differences between one performance and the next in Balinese music generally. The research for this paper is based on field work conducted in Bali and the United States during 2013.
On Homecoming weekend, October 2008, Colorado College inaugurated the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center and I.D.E.A. Space (InterDisciplinary Experimental Arts), designed by Antoine Predock, with performances by aerial dance company, Project Bandaloop. Video includes montage of performances as well as workshop given by Project Bandaloop director Amelia Rudolph and dancers to Colorado College students.