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Gamelan Galak Tika opens season with world premiere

Balinese composer Desak Made Suarti Laksmi performs with a gamelan orchestra.
Balinese composer Desak Made Suarti Laksmi performs with a gamelan orchestra.

Gamelan Galak Tika opens its 11th season with "Simbar Manjangan," a world premiere of a work for Balinese gamelan orchestra and West African drum ensemble by Bali's foremost female composer, Desak Made Suarti Laksmi. The concert, which also features new works by American and Balinese composers as well as traditional Balinese music and dance, will be held on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium.

"Simbar Manjangan" (reindeer flower) is an exploration of rhythm and meter, accentuated by the intense energy of MIT's African drumming group, Rambax. Rambax is led by Assistant Professor Patricia Tang and features artist-in-residence Lamine Touré, one of Senegal's leading percussionists.

Galak Tika will also be joined by co-founder and guest drummer I Nyoman Catra on Balinese kendang (drum), both for Laksmi's piece and for a repeat performance of "Semara Wisaya," written by up-and-coming Balinese composer Dewa Ketut Alit and choreographed by Pak Catra. Rounding out the program is group co-founder and director Professor Evan Ziporyn's latest gamelan composition, "Kebyar Kebyar," and traditional works featuring Gamelan Galak Tika dancers Cynthia Laksawana and Claire Heffner.

Admission is $8, or $4 for students and seniors, and free for the MIT community and children under 12. For more information, call 452-2302.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 5, 2003.

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