See above in "Gender-Related Social Groups." In the performing arts, the genders have for the most part been separated, with men dominating positions requiring leadership, knowledge, and authority. Men play the gamelan (percussion orchestra), perform as dalang (puppet-masters, narrating the epics and operating puppets), and participate in chanting groups (papaosan), an activity which requires knowledge of the epics and other arcane texts. Most dances and dramatic roles are identified as either male or female, and qualities of ideal masculinity and femininity are embodied in these dances and roles. Women's main participation in the arts is as dancers. Tourist patronage of the performing arts has radically changed genres, roles, ideas of sacred and profane, and patronage, as well as the practical organization such as length of time of performances, choice of libretto, costuming, venues, and costumes.
The most prominent female actors and, to a lesser extent, dancers, are usually the daughters of the grand masters. In everyday life, they often take on the male role as the breadwinner of their families and, these days, are highly mobile and often travel overseas. There are recent government-sponsored moves to break down some of the gender stereotyping in the arts, with competitions for female gamelan and, in schools, mixed competitions for oratory and chanting.
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