Between Heaven and Earth: Sacred and Ritual Dance in Bali

Between Heaven and Earth: Sacred and Ritual Dance in Bali
Original language
    Stockum / Nyukwha
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    • culture
    • dance
    • religion
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                In Between Heaven and Earth Walther Tjon Pian Gi captures the astonishing world of Balinese sacred and ritual dance in a selection of his photographs, taken between 1978 and 2017. As a dancer-performer himself, he stresses in his photos the underlying feeling rather than the pictorial values of the dance. Having danced at temple festivals and house ceremonies in Bali, he understands the specific function of these performances during the rituals - for living people, for the souls of the deceased, for the gods and for the evil spirits - the essence of which he conveys in this very personal and searching book. Ritual dances in Bali are primarily performed for the gods, who sometimes even descend from the mountains into the body of the dancer. So it can happen that there are no spectators at all, except for the gods and deified ancestors. And, in this case, a dancer-photographer, who learned where to find these ceremonial dances and related sacred events. Since the book is a document that spans more than a generation, it also serves as a record of the development of ritual performance culture in Bali.