The San Benito Arts Council asked us to play their closing event for the Hollister Summer Concert Series. Each summer they showcase ethnic music from all over the world - African drummers, Brazilian bands - and now, Balinese gamelan. We were honored and delighted that our great friend Pak Made Surya, an amazingly talented dancer from Bali, was able to join us for this performance. This was the first time Pak Surya had danced with Anak Swarasanti, but we're sure it won't be the last. I took the picture above of Pak Surya from the stage, as he was taking his bow. Check out the incredible costume, with real Balinese kriss (ceremonial sword) high up on his back.

Pak Surya danced two topeng (masked) dances. Topeng Tua, the "Old Man" dance of the retired king, old and decrepit, picking fleas out of his hair and forgetting where he was going, had the crowd in stitches as he staggered around the dance area. The children in the audience had a lot of fun running up behind him, and then running away again as he turned around, squealing with delight. All these photos were taken from the stage. Now you can see what it looks like to play in a gamelan orchestra.

After Surya's first dance, the kids in the audience were so hyped up about seeing his next, and they gathered around the curtain from which he was to emerge. Little did they know that the next dance was Topeng Keras - the dance of the depraved and evil prime-minister, filled with earthly corruption, with his terrifying red mask and bulging eyes. As Surya flung the curtain aside, the children fled in terror! This is a picture taken as we took our bow at the end of the show. Special thanks to Steve McDonald for helping organise this performance.

The players at Hollister were Justine Kragen, Steve McDonald, Cecile Cruz, Luis Yanez, Andy Bouchard, Dan Phillips, and Martin Randall.

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