Asian Sacred Dance
Asian Sacred dance is meditation in movement.
It is a way to empty the mind and hold the spirit of dance.
Conscious gaze in Balinese dance grounds the dancer and audience in the present moment.
Japanese dance purifies the space to greet the divine.
Balinese Temple Dance was created and has been performed as an offering to deities. Every temple anniversary is celebrated with sacred dances that are presented with religious preparation. While self-expression is highly encouraged in Western dances, Balinese dance begins with emptying “self” (letting go of one’s ego) so that the archetype of the particular dance is accommodated and be given form through the dancer’s body. For the Balinese, dance is a medium for traveling between Sekala (the physical world) and Niskala (the spiritual world). It is the alchemy of body and spirit.
Japanese Shinto dance celebrates omnipresent divine, in the mountain, river, ocean, sky, and other natural phenomena. As part of the Shinto (Japan's indigenous religion) dance repertoire, Miko Mai (Priestess Dance) is performed to purify space and mind. Mythical characters such as Tengu (the long-nosed guardian goblin) and Oni (the two-horned wicked goblin) lead us into the world of myth.
Dance Performance Programs
To experience the artistry of Surapsari is to become intrigued by the mystical and magical culture of Bali along with the performer who has dedicated herself to illuminating this world."
- Amy Swan, West Hawaii Today
Surapsari’s presentation is educational entertainment providing the audience with thought provoking content through a visually stimulating and sometimes humorous enactment of storytelling. Surapsari is a well- rehearsed and important artist."
- Al Alsina, Springhill Suite Marriott
Surapsari ("Sari") is an accomplished performing artist specializing in sacred dances from Bali and Japan. She mastered a wide range of Balinese dance in both male and female forms and three main regional styles. She received training from internationally acclaimed Balinese dancers such as I Made Jimat, Ni Wayan Sekariani, and I Dewa Nyoman Irawan. Her extensive Balinese dance repertoire includes Gambuh (the 500-year-old dance-theatre), Joged Pingitan (the near-extinct solo dance-drama), classic court dances, and ancient mask dances. She also studied Wayang Kulit (Balinese shadow puppet theatre) and Kecak (Balinese acapella monkey chorus chant). Sari was a founder and director of the Purnama Sari Balinese Performing Arts Company from 2000 to 2016. She is also an author of My Bali: The Memories of the Island of the Gods, a collection of essays on Balinese spirituality, dance, and culture, published by Sairyusha in 2000.
After fifteen years of studying Balinese sacred dance, Sari returned to her cultural and artistic roots. She studied Kagura (Japanese Shinto dance) with Osamu Wakayama, the lineage holder of Wakayama Kagura that has been recognized by the Japanese government as the Important Intangible Cultural Property. Sari has been performing, teaching, and lecturing internationally since 2000.
Past Performance Venues
East Hawaii Cultural Center, Hilo, HI
Shala Center, Chungju, South Korea
Santa Ana Theatre, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
The Player's Theatre, Sarasota, FL
Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
Katharine Cornell Theater, Vineyard Haven, MA
Namaste Festival, Tokyo, Japan
Anand Ashram, Bali, Indonesia
Opera House, Sarasota, FL
Santa Fe Soul, Santa Fe, NM
Volcano Arts Center, Volcano, HI
The Source, Albuquerque, NM
Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton, MA
Rama Foundation, Taos, NM
North Charleston Arts Festival, North Charleston, SC
Tablao de Paulette, San Juan, Puerto Rico
El Sindicato, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Dance Complex, Cambridge, MA
Lichtenstein Museum, Pittsfield, MA
South Florida Museum, Bradenton, FL
Mahalo Art Center, West Brattleboro, VT
Center for the Arts, Bonita Springs, FL
Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, IL
Japan Festival, Houston, TX
- and more