Taksu: The Spirit of Gamelan

Synopsis

The Balinese believe that the ancient concept of taksu is what motivates a person’s random act of kindness. It is the purest essence of an individual, existing beyond education or learned skill. An ancient (some say spiritual) concept held close at heart by the Balinese, it is referred to locally as the spirit of the arts often said to be the reason behind an impassioned performance. It motivates an individual to stop and talk to or offer help, to a complete stranger. It exists in a school teacher who responds kindly to the endless challenges she faces everyday from the children under her care. Anyone experiencing such unexpected kindness can feel uplifted on an otherwise downtrodden day and can be inspired in turn to show tolerance, respect and kindness to others as well.

It is in celebration of this, that we bring you our ‘Taksu’, a gamelan theatre performance. In order to connect despite our differences, develop possibilities and grow through our music, culture and art we focused on acceptance, respect, tolerance, openness and the willingness to share. The gentle yet strong sounds of the Malay gamelan (Hands Percussion) playing off the sharp and dynamic Balinese gamelan (Gamelan Yuganada), together with the Chinese drums and other elements from collaborators like Mat Din Hussin, Zamzuriah Zahari, La Voce Choir and Lim Wei Siong took us on a journey of trust. In trusting one another we were able to work together. We hope to inspire you, to demonstrate what the embodiment of this spirit means to us, to our work and lives, what it could mean for you.

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