Where you will be staying
In Week One you will be staying in traditional Balinese accommodation in the vibrant town of Ubud. Ubud is considered to be the cultural heart of Bali. Located in the cool mountains, around an hour's drive north of Denpasar airport and the resorts of southern Bali like Kutah, this traditional town is home to one of Bali's royal families. Ubud is also a flourishing arts and crafts centre. The surrounding villages like Campuhan, Mas, Peliatan and Batuan specialise in woodcarving and other crafts producing pieces which are sold all over the island. There are hundreds of shops selling antiques, crafts, fabrics, paintings and jewellery as well as art museums, art galleries, yoga studios, cafes, and a vibrant market. There is also the famous monkey forest, the breathtaking rice paddies, and many beautiful temples.
For the first week of the residency, you will be based in Ubud studying puppet-making, kecak voice, and other traditional arts. The central location will give you opportunity to visit the town, view the rice fields and market, and in the evening to see a variety of performances, including Legong and Baris dance and puppet shows. We will also go and visit various temples and take part in the beautiful water blessing at Tirta Empul, the Holy Water Temple.
For Week Two, you will be living, eating, and working together at the beautiful Bali Purnati Centre for the Arts in Batuan village. This week will be a wonderful retreat from the hustle and bustle, giving space and time to focus on the work. Sessions in Balinese dance, intercultural workshops, and seminars to reflect on the process will take place in the beautiful wooden pavilion, overlooking the lush green of the jungle and rice fields.
At both centres you will be staying in beautiful Balinese style rooms (mostly twin although it is possible to request a double if attending the residency with your partner) and served three meals a day (all included in the price) with vegetarian and vegan options. Bottled water is also provided. There is free pool access, and other services (laundry, traditional massage, additional snack food and alcoholic drinks) are available upon request for a small charge.
During the residency you will take part in daily workshops exploring Balinese training. The aim is to explore and discover ways of working interculturally to find new inspiration, approaches, and techniques.
Expert local teachers including I Wayan Bawa will begin by teaching you the basics of Balinese movement, and follow on from this by branching into Legong (female), Baris (male) and Gambuh (ancient Balinese dance drama) styles.
In other classes you will work with local puppeteers to construct your own Balinese puppet and learn how to perform Wayang Kulit (shadow puppetry). You will also learn about Balinese music (Gamelan) and Kecak voice (choral chanting). The famous mask maker Ida Bagus Anom Suryawan will teach you about Balinese mask painting and the ritual creativity behind the practice.
Bali Performing Arts Intensive
Experience Eastern arts and culture
Train in Balinese performance traditions and approaches
27th June - 11th July 2019
£1,800 all-inclusive package
Finance options available! Get in touch for details.
A transformative process of work drawing on both Eastern and Western traditions, including:
Workshops in voice, improvisation, and text
Training in traditional Balinese dance, puppetry and movement
Trips to a range of performances
There is a reason why the Balinese arts have provided inspiration for many famed performing arts practitioners including Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht, Jerzy Grotowski, and Eugenio Barba. The island of Bali is host to a range of stunning performance arts such as Legong and Baris dance, the ancient Gambuh, Wayang Kulit (shadow puppets), and fire and trance dances. Balinese arts are steeped in spirituality, tradition, and skills passed down from generation to generation, yet they are also highly innovative and creative, infused with the idea of ‘Taksu’, divine creative inspiration, where the true virtuoso artist surrenders to the craft completely. This energy of Taksu could also be compared to the Indian yogic concept of Pranavayu (vital breath or energy) or the concept of Qi or Ki (activating force) which informs martial arts, medicine, and performance in China and Japan. It is a force of creative energy both spiritual and physical. In the Western world we might call it ‘getting into the zone’ or ‘being in the moment’.
Anyone who has experienced being in Bali will know that there is a special quality to the island which is reflected in its arts and culture. Since the Balinese believe that the arts are linked to nature and to God, they put incredible effort, energy and love into every performance, every work of art. For those of us coming from countries where the arts are not always so highly valued, the reverent and joyous attitude of the Balinese people towards the arts is infectious and inspirational.
A curriculum of workshops and seminars designed by theatre director and teacher Dr Ellie Chadwick and led by qualified Avalon practitioners will explore intercultural practice and universal storytelling through a variety of psychophysical techniques, including Grotowski, Elements, and Archetypes. Yoga, meditation and traditional healing sessions also form part of the course: encouraging a holistic approach to the group work and one's own process.
A typical day
A day on the programme might look something like this:
Early yoga warm up
Breakfast with the group
Balinese training: Legong and Baris
Mask painting workshop
Lunch with the group
Temple ceremony visit
Dinner with the group
£900 per week, including all workshops, activities, trips, accommodation, and meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
Book before March 1st and receive a £200 discount!
Finance options with instalment payments now available: book now, pay later. Contact us for advice.
Are you a university student? Partial bursaries are available for students from some institutions: contact us for more information.
Click here to register interest and apply.
Getting to Bali
The only travel that isn’t included in the residency fee is your travel to and from the island of Bali. Try to book flights early to get good deals. Singapore Air is a comfortable ride.
For visa information, please click here. Travelling from most countries you can stay for up to 30 days on a free visa, obtained on arrival.
Once you arrive, we organise all transport to all of the activities and performances. If you wish to do some of your own exploring in your free time, or before / after the residency, scooter hire is very cheap and is a great way to get around (if you’re happy negotiating Bali roads). Car and driver hire is also reasonably priced, if you know where to look and what to expect. We can recommend some places - just let us know if you need some help.
Trips and excursions
In our spare time (such as during the weekend) we will also go on trips and excursions such as climbing Mount Batur, going to the beach or going white water rafting - all included in the course fee (exact nature of trips subject to weather and organiser discretion).
We are happy to arrange a Skype chat to talk about the course.
Click here for testimonials from previous participants.