I Wayan Bawa (Bali) is son of I Nyoman Sadeg, a renowned interpreter of the masked dance drama Topeng. Since his youth he has studied Gambuh, Topeng and Tjalonarang, the drama of magic, under the guidance of I Made Djimat, one of the great Balinese dance masters. He has also been a student of the Dance Academy in Denpasar, STSI, and now is the artistic director and main teacher for the male roles of the Gambuh Desa Batuan Ensemble. He has collaborated with ISTA since 1995 and is a permanent member of the Theatrum Mundi Ensemble, participating in the performances Ur-Hamlet and The Marriage of Medea directed by Eugenio Barba. Since 2000 I Wayan Bawa also travels alone to give workshops and present his performance work demonstration The Total Actor created in collaboration with Julia Varley.
The Gambuh Desa Batuan Ensemble was created in 1993 in the village of Batuan as a project by Cristina Wistari Formaggia and supported initially by the Ford Foundation. The aim was to preserve and transmit the practice of this dance drama among the younger generation. In addition to teaching boys and girls, the permanent Gambuh Pura Desa Ensemble performs regularly in its village, in the temples of Bali and abroad.
In his demonstration The Total Actor, I Wayan Bawa starts an excerpt from Gambuh, the oldest Balinese form of dance-drama dating from the 15th century. After a short autobiographical presentation, he explains some of the basic principles of Balinese theatre, dance, music and vocal techniques: posture, steps, right and left position, manis and keras (soft and strong), composition and feelings in both male and female characters. The main part of the demonstration is dedicated to Topeng, the well-known Balinese mask dance.
I Wayan Bawa is, since 2016, participating in the Odin Teatret performance The Tr