Ardha Chandra or known as Art Center in Bahasa Indonesia is traditional stage and exhibition hall located at Kecamatan Kesiman, municipality of Denpasar. More precisely is at the southern end of the Nusa Indah street of East Denpasar city. Three access can be taken to reach the area, one is from Sanur taking Jalan Hang Tuah from where bigger cars can enter, or from the crossroad of Jalan Gianyar and Gatot Subroto which is preferable to got with traffic flows already in line as in Indonesia including Bali the line is on the left. Third access is from west Denpasar city which are available many roads, but all are difficult due to the dense traffic, Only smaller cars such as taxi or mini van are suggested to access art center from the west. Geographically today ardha chandra looks lay in the center of Denpasar city, due to the extension of the east Denpasar further east, up to the border with Kabupaten Gianyar, a distance of more then 5 km east and with the opening of beach road to the east Bali the extension of the city is even further east along the road. Before 2000 the Kecak dance was presented at one of the corner of ardha chandra, and due to the difficulty for bigger bus then organizer of the dance moved the stage to the new place just on the right side of main road from Sanur to Kesiman.
Ardha Chandra or Art Center
Ardha Chandra or Art Center architecturally is a complex of buildings with the main mark of a big traditional open stage. Designed by a traditional Balinese architect Ida Bagus Pugur, opened for public in 1973. Besides the traditional open stage there are many buildings and hall constructed in Balinese architecture with finest decoration. These buildings are consist of two types, one type is for permanent exhibition and others are for seasonal exhibition, especially during Bali Art Festival of June every year. Two buildings with the finest Bali architecture are for permanent exhibition where one can see various art of Bali from dance facilities or figures, carvings, clothing arts, paintings, and others.
Annual Traditional Art Festival
During Bali art festival the whole buildings ar filed with exhibition of all type of products, not only art products but also history, books, daily needs, creative products, governments departments with their dutiesand others. A real bustling situation during one month of the feast. The activities at the open stage even more lively, as scheduled life shows present their representatives from traditional dance or drama or pantomime from Bali, other Indonesian provinces and foreign participants. Loyal foreign participants so far such as India, Thailand, USA, France, Australia, Japan, and Korea. New country such as Vietnam and Cambodia have also actively participating. The mot interesting moment is during the opening of the art festival, which is always started from Puputan City square with procession of dances, musics, decorations, marshal art and others, finishing at Renon city square where invited high officials and foreign officials are waiting in a temporary set up Bali traditional pavilions with thatched roof. Along the way the procession which consist of various artists show their actions or dance catch up by many TV stations or journalists. The procession usually started at 9 pm and finishes 12 noon marking the start of a month long art festival. The livelihood of the situation can be seen both at the exhibition and at the open stage starting from the night of the opening ceremony with the procession. Every evening or night has been scheduled the turn of each representative to present their show which is normally has been confirmed long before the event. During the day the open stage also not always rest, but some times the school or universities will fill with many activities such as life drum band, drama or any other art activities they can present. Beside normal show there are also a kind of competition among the same traditional music of Bali such as Gong, and the winner will be given the appreciation. All these activities schedule can be found at the office of Dinas Kebudayaan in Renon Denpasar.
It is a pity that Dinas Kebudayan Provinsi Bali is still not yet develop despite the fact of the modern technology that already freely available in Bali with cheap price. This situation making the information about Bali Art Festival is not yet widely known by the people. Although the people know that the art festival is organized regularly every year during June, but detailed information on the activity schedule is hard to find. It is probably lack of professional manager or staff that has made this big job never known by most of the visitors to Bali and even by tour organizers. If this situation continues the writer is worry that during the economic crisis when the government could not support the fund then the festival will be stopped and become the joke of other countries or even those who do not like Bali getting advancement. Too many guests during Denpasar city tours express their intention to come to Bali during art festival if they know what to see during the time of their stay in Bali and what would it mean for the people. Tour guide never could explain the correct information, as the information is not available. So, when a tour organization visiting Denpasar city tour, although also including a stop at Art Center, it is only visiting the architecture and the permanent exhibition which is basically the same and can be found outside of the complex. A great hope that Dinas Kebudayaan of Bali will understand their role in making the art festival not only an administrative work , but also a promotion for Bali or Indonesia in general, make any one knows about the culture, so don't blame any country in the future might claim the aspect of Indonesian culture as their copy right production just because Indonesia is fail show to the world that it is theirs.
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Among various tour packages and tour options in Bali there are some tours which can be said always on the publications and interest a large part of travellers to Bali. Kintamani mountain tour sits at the first number as the most popular sightseeing tour, second is Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot tour, third is Uluwatu temple tour.
- Kintamani tour bring combination of watching barong dance, beautiful temple architecture, beautiful natural views, dance, carving, accessories and painting see description
- Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot temples are two historical heritages from 17th, Taman Ayun palace temple which is always found near palaces of Balinese king starting 18th century see description
- Uluwatu temple located on steep drop cliff on the southernmost tip of Bali island. see description