Veteran dancers still charming

Today is Saraswati, a day that Balinese Hindus worship their Goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom.

In the jaba (front courtyard) of the Pura Dalem temple at Ubud many veteran dancers staged performances on this Saraswati Day.

Jero Puspawati, from Puri (Palace) Satria in Denpasar, performed the Candra Metu dance as part of the ritual for the Goddess. Watching her performing was like seeing the queen of the dance in her heyday. She is still energetic and full of taksu (spiritual charm), an important requirement for a Balinese dance master, who previously performed their dances for purely religious purposes.

Jero Puspawati

There were a number of other veteran dancers taking part in the event including Ni Made Anis, 79, from Singaraja, Ni Gusti Ayu Raka Rasmi, 62, from Peliatan, Ubud, I. Komang Urip Tribuana, 51, from Bangli, and Ni Ketut Arini Alit, 61 from Banjar Lebah, Denpasar.

Another primadona who performed in Ubud was Ni Ketut Cenik, 81. The elderly dancer was mesmerizing, with no less than 350 local and foreign spectators witnessing her classical dance performance of Bapang Gede, a kind of traditional dance rarely performed now.

I Made Jagra, Contributor to the Jakarta from Ubud took this as a reason to reflect about the situation of Balinese dance today. Worth reading on...