It is a colourful glimpse into the treasures of the Indonesian archipelago. A perfect evening spent learning about a beautiful country that is a melting pot of cultural diversity. I’m talking about my evening spent watching the Devdan Show in Bali.
The Devdan Show is as a must-see performance when in Bali. It not only showcases the intriguing culture that lives on the island of Bali, but it is an exciting non-stop performance that brings to life the essence of the Indonesian culture.
You see, I have seen so many cultural shows. Having been raised in the hospitality industry, I was constantly exposed to different cultural performances both large and small from around the world. To be honest, many came off as more a ‘cabaret’ style cultural performance, which left me feeling like the culture was more an extravagant Broadway showpiece, rather then something that has been part of generations and generations of a country’s history. There are a handful of shows that still stick in my mind, including the Water Puppet Show in Hanoi, Vietnam, a Ramayana Performance in Yogyakarta, Indonesia… and now the Devdan Show in Bali.
The Devdan Show was 90 minutes of not just dance, but a cultural awakening of wonderful Indonesia. If you want to better understand the diversity that exists in this country, the Devdan Show is a beautiful representation of that.
An Evening at the Devdan Show
We arrive to Nusa Dua in the early evening. The theatre hasn’t quite opened yet, so Hubby and I decide to wander around the area. Just next to the theatre is an open air shopping area, with quite a number of restaurants, spas, and boutiques. It’s a great spot to grab dinner before the show begins.
By 7:15pm, we arrive back to the theatre, and all guests are prompted to enter and take their seats. Arriving inside the theatre, I was stunned. The theatre is impressively large in scale, with a huge space on stage for the actual performance. I hadn’t expected such a large setup…and the room was full of guests from all over the world.
The shows begins at 7:30pm on the dot (non of this island time business here), which is fantastic. Already the show starts off colourful and full of humour, a great start as we are slowly introduced to two children who end up narrating the evening performance.
The cast is large, and offers a line up of talented performers who come from all around Indonesia to showcase the amazing culture of this country. Yes, it is a 100% all Indonesian cast.
The storyline is told by two curious children, who get lost in a jungle and find a chest full of treasures from around Indonesia. Each treasure holds the key to transporting the children and the audience to a different part of Indonesia. The show takes you on a journey through the island of Bali, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and Papua.
Every performance shares a cultural story from the area it comes from. And various elements are explained to the audience via small TV screens found on the side of the stage. It is informative, and helps you appreciate all the little details put into the performance…right down to the fabric choice of the performers.
And of course, there is a hint of contemporary modern dance that makes its way into the show, which is a fun addition to the traditional style of dance.
Some of my favorite parts of the show included the talented acrobatic duo. During this part of the show, no photography or video was allowed, which was perfectly fine for me. This meant 100% full attention was given to this incredible performance. The duo performed with such grace…and of course strength. I was blown away by how they managed to maintain such good balance and strength during their performance.
I also loved the part of the performance where they danced with fire – it was so impressive and I could not get over the talent of the Devdan performers and how they managed to handle the fire.
The 90 minutes was full of passion and energy from the Devdan performers – there was dancing, there was humour, there was oh so much colour, and of course no show would be complete without some drama… I mean when have you been to a show where there was torrential rain pouring over the cast? Don’t worry, there wasn’t a leak in the ceiling, but rather this was part of the Water Dance performance helmed from Kalimantan.
It is best to book your tickets ahead of time, because the theatre does get busy. You can easily do so by booking direct through the Devdan Show website. The show runs 4 days a week (Monday, Wednesday Friday, and Saturday) and starts at 19:30pm. If you are staying in the Nusa Dua, Benoa, Jimbaran, Kuta, Seminyak, and Sanur areas, the Devdan Show does include a free shuttle to and from the theatre on most of their ticket categories.
I recommend booking either the category A or VIP tickets, because this will give you the best view of the show. For a category A ticket, prices start at approximately IDR 1,105,000 (U$83 / A$110). On occasion, you also may be able to find special deals for tickets, or even packages such as dinner and show.
So if you find yourself in Bali, and culture is what you seek, then the Devan Show is a must.
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No compensation was received for this review, however the Devdan Show kindly offered my ticket complimentary. All opinions remains my own.