Pierre Pare-Blais

Artistic Direction | Gamelan Giri Kedaton


Pierre Paré-Blais first studied physical theater at Marianopolis College. Following his studies, in 2005, he travelled to Bali with the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre to study mask dance (topeng) and shadow theater (wayang kulit). It was there that he discovered Balinese music, when one of his teachers, learning of his affinity with music, offered to teach him to play the gender (the instrument that accompanies shadow theater). During this first trip, Pierre studied with great Balinese masters such as I Anom Putra (dance) and I Wayan Mardika and I Kadek Budi Setiawan (wayang kulit and gender). On his return to Montreal, he discovered the gamelan workshop while studying electroacoustic composition at the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Music, in 2007. Almost immediately, he joined the Giri Kedaton group, which for several years will enable him to keep alive the powerful bond and important influence Bali had on his artistic development during that first trip. In 2016, Pierre succeeded Éric Vandal and Nino Gabrielli as the group’s artistic director. Pierre is also a stage director and teaches acting in the professional training program at the École de cirque de Verdun. Over the years, Pierre has had the opportunity to study with many of the great Balinese masters, including I Dewa Made Suparta, I Putu Arya Deva Suryanegara, I Made Terip, I Gusti Ketut, and many others.


The Giri Kedaton Gamelan at a glance:

The Giri Kedaton Balinese Music Ensemble, in residence at the Université de Montréal, is one of the few active gamelans in Canada. The gamelan is a percussion orchestra of gongs, metallophones and drums from the island of Bali, Indonesia. The spectacular beauty of the instruments, the sparkling timbre of their bronze tones, and the superb choreography make a Giri Kedaton performance a fascinating experience.

Giri Kedaton brings together some twenty musicians who, in addition to their passion for Balinese music, are driven by the collective ideal that characterizes the spirit of the gamelan. Giri Kedaton also has 3 female dancers and 1 male dancer, all trained in Bali by the great masters, who accompany the group during its performances.