These images were taken on the night of Saraswati celebration in Tambak Sari Temple in Sanur, Bali.
I’m traveling around Indonesia to document the lives of drag queens and was notified of certain traditional entertainers who do cross-gender performances. These traditional entertainers are called “Arja” dancers. In their performances, they dance (with postures and techniques of traditional Balinese dances, but with a choreography of their own – usually improvised), sing (using traditional Balinese “tembang” / song), and deliver jokes. This combo of dancing, singing, and delivering jokes is called “Bondres” in Balinese.
The jokes are an essential part of the performance and these performers are usually hired to bring laughter to the party. However, since the jokes don’t translate well into other languages (including Indonesian), the audience is limited to those who understand the language.
Very interesting project and we sure would like to know what the jokes are lol :)
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