Mekar Bhuana Gamelan Music and Dance

Mekar Bhuana Gamelan Music and Dance, Denpasar: Hours, Address, Mekar Bhuana Gamelan Music and Dance Reviews: 5/5

Mekar Bhuana Gamelan Music and Dance

Mekar Bhuana Gamelan Music and Dance
5
Lessons & Workshops
Read more
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Write a review
About
A family founded centre, Mekar Bhuana's vision is to support traditional Balinese gamelan music and dance that is rarely seen or heard. They work with the community, researching, studying, documenting and reconstructing and then educate people, particularly the younger generation, to encourage awareness about the beauty of these endangered art-forms. To the public, the centre offers traditional Balinese gamelan music and dance classes and workshops are for those people who are seriously interested in learning about the beauty and history of these unique traditional art-forms. You can book to to take lessons, workshops, cultural immersion programs, or see rehearsals of rare performing art-forms at this incredible living museum of antique instruments, lovingly reconstructed and restored by Mekar Bhuana's founders. Mekar Bhuana also has an online store mekarbhuana.com that supports Balinese village artisans with the proceeds going to their gamelan and dance projects and activities.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
91 reviews
Excellent
88
Very good
3
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Richard P
Hong Kong, China1 contribution
Dec 2019 • Couples
This was a very special opportunity. We very strongly recommend the experience of learning about this rich art form in the company of such dedicated and welcoming people. Over the course of two weeks in Balu, this was unquestionably the highlight and it opened up our understanding of the culture in ways that enhanced the rest of our stay. Lovely people who welcome you into their own home to share their deep love for one of the world's most truly wonderful cultural traditions.
Written January 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We were more than happy to be part of this special opportunity and we feel honored to be your trip's highlight! Thank you for choosing to learn at our family based centre and we hope to welcome you back and teach you again in the future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jessk
Sydney, Australia5 contributions
Jan 2020
As a Music Teacher I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Mekar Bhuana.
I did a private full day workshop which was informative and practical. The workshops also come with a copy of the study material.
Vaughn was knowledgeable and very supportive. The workshop gave me the opportunity to try a range of instruments. I would recommend the workshops or lessons at Mekar Bhuana for Music teachers, students and anyone who wants to learn about Balinese music and culture.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for choosing to learn at Mekar Bhuana Centre - we really appreciate you as an educator recommending our gamelan workshop program as well as our practical lessons. Looking forward to welcoming you back one day!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kalena G
2 contributions
May 2022
This experience was one of my favorites in Bali during my month long stay. The chance to sit with talented Balinesian musicians and learn gamelan was invaluable. My teacher, Putu, was patient and very clear and the owner, Vaughan, was delightful in setting everything up. We did a 2 hour session on their beautiful property and explored the very cool surrounding neighborhood after. I will definitely be retuning for a continued education. Please support this amazing school!
Written May 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Putu said that it was a delight to teach you both and she was impressed how quickly you picked up Gender Wayang in just two hours! It is so refreshing to be able to hold in-person sessions due to the pandemic (we see your review as an important step forward after a challenging hiatus of more than two years!). We look forward to teaching you again some day in the future at our family based centre. Thanks for choosing to learn with us!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LD
2 contributions
May 2022
Truly a treat to have the opportunity to learn about Balinese Gamelan music and instruments from such talented musicians (and to support a great organization in the process!). I took a rindik lesson at Mekar Bhuana and it was by far the highlight of my visit to Bali. My instructor, Pur, was super knowledgable, patient and encouraging and just a ton of fun to work with. Will definitely sign up for a workshop series when I return. Thank you Pur and Mekar Bhuana!
Written May 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We are really happy that you enjoyed studying Rindik at our centre. This bamboo-keyed instrument a super fun instrument and a great entry-point to Balinese music. Pur enjoyed introducing you to the basics. We look forward to you booking a private gamelan workshop with us - this will allow you to try many different instruments as well as understand the history and sociology of Balinese music all in one session. Thanks for choosing to study at Mekar Bhuana Centre!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rob A
Louisville, KY41 contributions
Mar 2017 • Couples
We spent the day at Mekah Bhuana learning how to play and the history of Balinese music. A great day and a fabulous experience after seeing Gamelan ensembles as part of our Balinese trip during our stay on the island. As a music educator, this was just what I was looking for. Informational discussion and then 3 hours of playing instruments from the Gamelan ensemble. The very patient instructor made the day even more special as we learned new playing techniques and piece throughout the day. Lunch was fine too. My wife and I can't say enough good things about the day. Super!
Written March 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We're happy when our students are happy! Indeed music educators benefit a lot from taking a full-day private workshop with us, because the one-hour explanation and demonstration session gives people the freedom to ask as many questions as they want. We also hope that the PDF of the gamelan workshop study materials and the complimentary court gamelan music CD will help you spread the beauty of Balinese music to your students, opening up a whole new world of sounds and musical concepts. Thank you once again for choosing to study with us and we look forward to hearing about your students' impressions back home. Vaughan Hatch, Co-founder
Written May 26, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

W H
Hong Kong, China3 contributions
Feb 2016 • Family
My 7 years old had a great time learning how to dance the Balinese dance with Evie. She is wonderful with kids, and amazingly in tune with what they love! During the session, my daughter learnt about the Balinese traditional dance costume, make-up and the intricate dance. Evie also showed the masks and we had a sneak peek of the gamelan used during the performance. Definitely an experience she will remember for a long time coming. Highly recommend a dance session with Evie and instruments with Vaughn, it makes the visit to Bali more personal knowing the richness of its arts. Thank you both for making the time!
Written February 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for choosing Mekar Bhuana as a place for your daughter to learn more about Balinese culture. It's always great to hear such a positive response from parents whose children learn with us. We are continuing to add to our program for kids, and hope in the future to incorporate more elements from this beautiful tropical environment to teach future generations about the importance of living in harmony with nature, and how this is connected to Balinese dance and music. We look forward to welcoming you back to Mekar Bhuana the next time you are in Bali! Putu Evie & Vaughan Hatch, Co-founders
Written May 25, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brendon V
Sydney, Australia2 contributions
Dec 2014 • Family
We visited Bali for a family holiday for 2 1/2 weeks over Xmas. Before we left home, we found Mekar Bhuana on the 'net and booked for a two-day gamelan workshop for my daughter & I.

We spent the first half of the first day with Vaughan giving a presentation on the history & diversity of Balinese gamelan during which he explained the preservation and research work that he has been doing. The rest of the time was spent with Vaughan and his assistant Corey teaching us a couple of simple gamelan pieces. We found the techniques challenging, but very rewarding when we were able to achieve some semblance of what we were being taught. It is very different from playing western percussion instruments.

We found Evie and Vaughan to be very gracious and welcoming hosts and Vaughan's teaching style was patient and understanding. It was inspiring to learn from someone who completely understands his field and a joy to watch both Vaughan and Corey play.

A few days after the workshop, there was a performance at the Mekar Bhuana studio by the family gamelan. This was an ancient style of gamelan using iron-keyed instruments used between the 10th and 14th century. The ensemble consisted of family members totalling about nine musicians and dancers including Evie and Vaughan's precociously talented son who both played and danced. All this happened on the last day of our holiday and was the perfect end to a memorable trip.

We are looking forward going back in a year or two and the first thing we will be doing is to book into another Mekar Bhuana workshop (after having first worked on our technique, of course). I would highly recommend Mekar Bhuana to anyone with an interest in music of other cultures, or indeed anyone wishing to experience Balinese culture on a deeper level.
Written January 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your positive comments about your experience at our centre. We appreciate you both coming to learn at Mekar Bhuana - it is inspiring that a father and daughter had the interest in Balinese music to take two full days of private workshops with us as part of your travels to Bali. You were both fast learners and after just a short practical experience on gender wayang, you both managed to complete a short piece. You'll have to start a group in Australia! It was fortunate that you were here during our selonding performance fundraising series, and that in spite the rain that night, all three of you enjoyed the show so much. We are also glad that you are enjoying our semara pagulingan CD. We hope to produce more recordings of rare or lost court music in the future. We look forward to welcoming you all again at Mekar Bhuana next time you visit. Vaughan & Evie Hatch, Co-founders
Written January 16, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lisa S
3 contributions
Sep 2014 • Couples
I had the opportunity to do two workshops at Mekar Bhuana while on holiday in Bali, one dance, one Gamelan (four hours each). Booking was easy via email, so was getting to the conservatory by taxi.
The conservatory itself is a beautiful place and the founders Evie and Vaughan are very nice, welcoming people.
Since I am a complete newbie in Balinese music and cutlure, the history/theory part that made up the first half of the workshop was especially interesting.

The practical portion of the workshop was taught by Evie's aunt Komang Supadmi who is a great dancer and extremely patient teacher, since I initially had some trouble picking up the routine (I learned Pendet Penyambutan, the Balinese welcoming dance). After the lesson, I was definately more confident about the dance and feel able to revise the movements at home.
Because of my experiences during the dance workshop I decided to do a Gamelan workshop as well, not yet having decided what instrument to try. This workshop consisted again of a history part, followed by practical instructions. My teacher was a young Balinese man called Kori (I bet I misspelled his name!) who also was really patient with me never having played any kind of flute before. At the end of the lesson I was able to play a simple song and had started on a second one.
After the second workshop I had the opportunity to watch and take part in a dance lesson for Balinese girls taught by Evie and Komang Supadmi at the Tandjung Sari Hotel in Sanur.

If you're interested in Balinese music and/or dance, Mekhar Bhuana is the place to go. They are very enthusiastic about conserving this special part of Balinese culture, and this shows. Instead of watching some kind of dance show made up for tourists, rather go to Mekar Bhuana.
The only thing I'd do differently next time is to book a bunch of lessons over a few days to really learn the dance in-depth instead of just a workshop, but if you've never done Balinese dance, the workshops are a perfect "primer".
Written October 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your detailed review - it really sums up, moment by moment, your experience here with us at Mekar Bhuana. Yes, now that you have a good introduction to the history and sociology of Balinese dance and music, next time you study with us it is a good idea to focus more on the practical side with some regular lessons. Cory also enjoyed teaching you the suling flute and now you have a good grounding in one of the seven possible scales. Our son really appreciated your gift of the football shirt - we'll have to take some photos of him playing gamelan wearing it! We all look forward welcoming you again at Mekar Bhuana during your next trip to Bali! Vaughan & Evie, Mekar Bhuana Co-founders
Written October 2, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Matthew James B
1 contribution
Sep 2014 • Solo
Upon my arrival in Bali for a two week vacation, I took a 2-hour lesson with Vaughn to learn more about the various types of gamelan. He covered much of the history, styles and instrumentations that can be found on Bali and their origins in Java. He had many powerpoint slides, videos, recordings and has an entire set of gamelan instruments available. Vaughn is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about gamelan music and is a great teacher. I highly recommend taking a lesson at Mekar Bhuana if you are interested in this very special musical art form.
Written October 1, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your positive review of our private half-day gamelan workshop. It was a pleasure teaching you and helping you piece together where your favourite gamelan orchestra (gong gede) fits into the complex history of Balinese gamelan music. I trust that you are enjoying the cassette, CD and DVD recordings you bought from us, and that they will give some examples of different orchestras and styles within Balinese gamelan genres (there are so many). I hope that this short introduction will be of benefit to increase your interest in Balinese gamelan music and, as you said, even one day inspire you bring a huge gong gede orchestra to your country! I look forward to welcoming you at Mekar Bhuana again some time in the future. Vaughan Hatch, Co-founder
Written October 15, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Katerina108
17 contributions
Aug 2014 • Solo
I took lessons of traditional Balinese dance at Mekar Bhuana and I really enjoyed it. The lessons may seem more expensive compare to other courses in Bali, but it is definitely worth it. I took some lessons in Ubud before I visited Mekar Bhuana school and I was shocked how different it can be. The studio is air conditioned and Evie is amazing dancer, teacher and person. You can see her passion for dance and it is very inspiring. There is also possibility to have a "final dance" in traditional balinese costume, which is really fun to try!

Another good thing - the studio is located in walk distance from bus station (Halte Tophati), so you can get there easily for a very good price.
Written August 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your experience learning at Mekar Bhuana. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed the lessons so much - you are an extremely quick learner and it is amazing that you could run performing a welcome dance after just two lessons! Many students are now choosing to do the final dress-up in costume, as you did, because it gives them that extra dimension to learn how it feels to perform in traditional dress which is wrapped tightly around the dancer's body; it also gives the student a sense of achievement, and of course they can video their performance for posterity. I'm sure other students will appreciate your tips about the relatively new bus system (Sarbagita). At the moment it is only IDR3,000 for any distance, so it is a lot cheaper than taxis or hiring a driver for sure. We look forward to welcoming you again at Mekar Bhuana very soon! Vaughan Hatch & Putu Evie, Co-founders
Written August 25, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 77
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Mekar Bhuana Gamelan Music and Dance

Mekar Bhuana Gamelan Music and Dance is open:
  • Mon - Fri 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Restaurants near Mekar Bhuana Gamelan Music and Dance: View all restaurants near Mekar Bhuana Gamelan Music and Dance on Tripadvisor