Balinese Travelogue: Devdan, Treasure of the Archipelago

 Michael Bali Devdan

Michael Taylor (third from left) poses with some of the cast from Devdan, Treasure of the Archipelago, in front of the Nusa Dua Theatre in Nusa, Dua, Bali.

Bali Part Two

Michael Taylor (pictured, third from left) has arrived in Bali, where he will spend the next three weeks exploring the sights, sampling the food, learning about the culture, and checking out what's hot and what's not in one of Southeast Asia's most exciting travel destinations.

On his first night in Bali, he attends a spectacular performance of Devdan, Treasure of the Archipelago. Michael is a guest for three nights at the Grand Mirage Resort, which is located in Nusa Dua, Bali.

Performance Theatre at Its Best

The show is performance theatre at its best. Combining song and dance with acrobatics, magical illusions, and some amazing special effects, the show begins as a flighty tour guide shows some tourists around the Indonesian island of Bali.

As the tourists – and not least of all the tour guide – are terrorized by some playful monkeys, two of the children in the group wander off and climb up the sides of a volcano, where they discover a treasure chest. Opening it, they see several objects inside. Each one represents one of the larger islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago.

Each Island Has a Distinct Culture

As the children remove the items in the chest one by one, they are transported to the islands of Bali, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and Papua, each with its own distinct culture. They get up close and personal with local customs and rituals.

Enchanted by what they see, the children witness everything from harvest festivals to the flying of kites to shadow theatre to the making of handicrafts – all portrayed through electrifying song and dance. At one point, they decide to show off their own skills.

"This is how WE dance!” they proclaim.

When the children start break dancing, the entire cast joins in.

Indonesia's Rich and Diverse Culture

Designed to showcase Indonesia's amazingly rich and diverse culture, the show is fast moving, beautifully choreographed, and skillfully performed. There is humour. There are surprises. There are no dull moments.

A feast for both the eyes and the ears, the show features magnificent costumes as well as a lively, melodic, and rhythmic score. I frequently felt my foot tapping to the beat.

I have always loved live theatre, and this is live theatre at its best. No visitor to Bali should miss it.

Where: Bali Nusa Dua Theatre, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia. When: Four nights a week at 7 pm. Duration: 90 minutes with no intermission.

To Be Continued

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