One of the best parts of Bali has to be the amazing traditional arts. They have amazing carvers and painters, a unique orchestra(the Gamelan), and a thriving culture of dances and theatre. Last night we attended a dance and musical performance that was by far the best I have seen yet in Bali. This dance school toured in the west in the 1950's and had a huge impact. The dance style is flawless and the musical theory mystifying. The tuning of the Gamelan orchestra is quite different from music in the west.
The Gamelan features a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, kendang (drums), gongs, bamboo flutes, and bowed strings. My descriptions of the these dances don't do them any justice so I will let the photos speak for me. Also I took a lot of video of both the orchestra and the dances, so when I have a chance to work on it and make something than you will really see how incredible and unique these art forms are.
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The Spiti Valley was beyond all expectations. The Spiti valley is located in the North eastern part of the Indian State Himachel Pradesh.It is a desert on the roof of the world,a shangri-La of legend, cut off from the outside world by soaring himalayas and deadly mountain passes. A land where fifteen years ago no foreigner was permitted to enter. Close to the politically sensitive India/Tibet border the Spiti valley has been a restricted area since the forming of India. To this day all vistors must apply for a permit to enter in the mountain village of Rekong Peo, a small town surrounded by tall mountains in the Kinnaur valley which you must go through in order to enter the Spiti valley.
When I traveled to the Spiti valley I was in the company of Jeanette and Philine, Jeanette and I were on our big India Nepal trip and we met Philine in Manali who decided she would also like to try to make the trip to the Spiti valley. We met in Shimla, the old summer British capital back in the time ...
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