The traditional dances in Bali have been flourishing, and new generations of traditional dancers and gamelan musicians are continuously being born. The dignity of taking part in such cultural performances is very much alive in this digital age and intense technological era. The dances of Bali are not only learned and developed by the Balinese who live on the island, but also by Balinese who live on other islands within the archipelago, Indonesians originating from other regions and even other nationalities.
The Group of Young Artists from Mataram City on the island of Lombok showed off their latest creation of Bali’s traditional dance titled Jarandut during one of the evening shows at Bali Art Festival 2017. I Gede Mawan, the music arranger, successfully brewed a dynamic composition playing with tempo and conjuring great combinations between melody and percussion to enhance the emotion displayed by the dance routines, and the slow melodic interlude between scenes provided a comfortable space to breathe.
The Jarandut dance recounts the journey of the evacuees from Pejarakan Village in North Bali in search of a new place to live. Lead by a wise leader and a special horse gifted with strong intuition, the villagers take a long journey to the east, to the land of Mataram, which now is known as Lombok. After a dozen days of travelling, the horse suddenly acts strange; it stood still and did not want to move. The group decide that this is a sign to take a rest.
Having heard that there a horde of intruders has found its way onto the island, the local ruler decides to visit the foreign villagers of Pejarakan. After discussions between the leaders, they discover they are related by blood and share the same family tree. The evacuees finally settle in the area, now known as Ndut Village in the Narmada region of West Lombok.
The choreographers, Wayan Budiasa and Ni Wayan Suartini, combined a set of basic traditional Balinese dance routines, such as eye movements, steps and others, with advanced floor patterns so every movement made by the dancers resulted in beautiful formations. The choreography was accented with the presence of hobbyhorses held by each dancer. At the end of the performance, the leader is hoisted into the air in a classic cheerleader styled pose to glorify their accomplishments.