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“I consider myself one of the lucky ones who got to experience Bali and in particular Ubud and its culture from an inside perspective, one that many tourists on the island miss but that makes a trip to Bali so much richer. With the ACE program we got a chance to play gamelan with amazing musicians in a totally supportive and traditional way. We got a chance to practice some dancing and challenge ourselves with kechak. One of the highlights for me was being able to experience temple ceremonies and watch amazing dancers move to equally incredible music. One of my favorite parts was being welcomed and fed delicious food in the homes of the people who cooked it. In addition we got to take lots of field trips and learn about the culture and environment of Bali. This was an experience I will truly treasure and I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to visit Bali. ”

– Viola Pellegrini,  Movement Educator,  ACE class of 2018


“The Cudamani Arts, Culture, Environment Tour was a truly rich and amazing experience. It was very well organised and carefully structured, allowing us to gain a deep and lasting understanding of many aspects of Balinese arts and culture and also an insight into some of the environmental problems facing Bali. The Cudamani community members were very welcoming, and always willing to share their deep understanding of Balinese culture.  It’s hard to believe how much we experienced in that one week whilst still having time for a bit of sightseeing, shopping and relaxation too. I will reflect on and remember the tour for many years to come, both personally and professionally. The experiences from this trip will help inform and refine my music and teaching practices.”

– Julia Pope, Musician and Teacher,  ACE Class of 2018


“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, CSI Class of 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, Professor of Music & Composer, CSI 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, CSI 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, CSI 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, CSI 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, CSI 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, CSI Class of 2007

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