“I’ve attended many dance festivals and intensives in San Francisco, New York City, Seattle, and elsewhere. The Cudamani Summer Institute stands out as an glorious immersive practice within the extraordinary arts and culture of Bali, a land where the arts are as earnestly sophisticated as they are genuinely sacred. Being invited warmly into the the Cudamani community, practicing in studios in family homes, sharing meals, attending temple ceremonies, and participating in both public and private performances provided for an inspiring artistic exchange connecting along our universal human dimensions amongst cultures from various corners of the planet.” Paul Laurey, Artist and Filmmaker, Class 2015
“It was a phenomenal experience with a mix of students ranging from ethnomusicologists and semi-professional players to graduate and undergraduate students with some experience in gamelan or at least percussion performance… All in all it was superbly arranged and delivered, and many of the students were returnees or, like me, hope to return… read more “– Greg Youtz, Musician, Class of 2012
“Çudamani Summer Institute has opened my eyes to Balinese culture in ways I could not have experienced in any other program. The musicians, dancers, and staff are welcoming and kind and teach respect and compassion — cultural aspects I will carry with me back to my home and school in the United States. Learning the music and developing new friendships goes hand-in-hand in gamelan music. CSI has further enhanced my appreciation for this island’s rich art and culture. I’ll carry this experience with me always and appreciate it for the rest of my life.” — Claire Fassnacht, Musician, Class of 2012
“I came away with a deep respect for the integration of the arts into daily and ceremonial life in Bali, and sadness at their estrangement in western culture. The access to master teachers — I was honored and humbled over and over again by the talent, skill and artistry of our teachers, all of which they so lovingly shared with us.” — Rosemary Candelario, Dancer/Choreographer, Class of 2008
“The strength of the Institute is the opportunity to be completely immersed in Balinese culture through learning music and dance, yet with enough Western teaching methods to facilitate our learning.” — Donna Eshelman, Dancer/Choreographer, Class of 2008
“I know that many Americans come to Bali to take lessons individually, but getting to do this through a group situation, in which we were able to form something of an ensemble by the end, and in which I was able to form a connection with a group of people who feel just as seriously passionate about the music and culture as I do, seems to be really special. I got to spend a lot of time with a lot of fabulous musicians, listening to and playing and practicing gamelan several hours a day. I felt inspired every day, and I feel like I’m definitely hearing gamelan music differently now than before the program.
I now have a much better understanding of the relationship between the music and dance, and a greater sense about what it means to have a community ensemble of musicians who actually work together, play together, collaborate, and live that spirit through their music-making.” — Lynda Paul, Musician, Class of 2007
“The performance in the temple was the most important for me. It was brilliant to have been able to perform in a meaningful celebration and to apply whatever had been taught for that purpose.” — Elaine Pedly, Dancer/Choreographer, Class of 2007