"GROH GOH (Rehearsal for Rangda)" and
"Rambut Rangda" 2023
Born 1982, Cooroy, Gubbi Gubbi Country.
Lives and works in Bali, Indonesia and Sydney, Gadigal Country.
"GROH GOH (Rehearsal for Rangda)" 2023
single-channel colour video, stereo sound
"Rambut Rangda" 2023
woven prasok (dried pandan leaf)
Courtesy of the artist, Sydney, Gadigal Country.
Working in an expanded documentary form, Leyla Stevens’s film GROH GOH (Rehearsal for Rangda) focuses on the deity Rangda and her leyaks/lēaks (disciples), represented by five dancers, figures who hold pride of place in Balinese cosmogony. Channelling Rangda’s shapeshifting powers, GROH GOH counters “sustained interpretations from colonial and touristic frameworks” to propose a transformative matrilineal lens on Balinese visual culture and art history.
Moving between lush-forested shores and sites of pilgrimage on Nusa Penida and a Wantilan (rehearsal pavilion) in Bali, Stevens takes the viewer on a journey into some of the registers of the Calonarang theatrical drama, restaging its traditional form as a scripted performance. At one point in the film, the voice-over narration in Bahasa Indonesia, and mantra spoken in Balinese Kawi, speaks at length about searching for and yet evading Rangda throughout her home cultural geography. The film is framed in the gallery by beautiful, dual-layered flowing lengths of dried prasok, which represent Rangda’s long, matted hair.
This project has been assisted by the Australian government through the Australia Council, its art funding and advisory body. The project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW. This work is co-commissioned with TarraWarra Museum of Art.
Writer/Director/Editor: Leyla Stevens
Cinematography: Gotaro Uematsu and Wayan Martino
Choreography: Adhika Annissa (Ninus)
Sound Composition: Isha Ram Das
Performances (in order of appearance)
Ni Ketut Putri Minangsari
Ida Ayu Wayan Prihandari (Bumi Bajra)
Ni Kadek Thaly Titi Kasih (Bumi Bajra)
Ni Kadek Dwipayani (Bumi Bajra)
Ni Komang Trisnadevi (Bumi Bajra)
Master Rangda Performer: Jro Mangku Serongga
Rangda: Karina Utomo
Sound Mix: Bob Scott
Colourist: Yanni Kronenberg
Rangda Costume Design: Aleisa Jelbart
Sound Engineer: Lara Soulio
Voice Over (Mantra): Luh Yesi Candrika
Voice Over (Narration): Karina Utomo
Translation & Researcher: Savitri Sastrawan