I Gusti Agung Ngurah Supartha 1943 – 2007
I Gusti Agung Ngurah Supartha, known to many in the USA through his spirited work at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington D.C., and in many programs throughout the world, died today in Bali. It was very sudden, apparently of a heart attack, his family reported.
Pak Supartha was active as a choreographer, composer and dalang, and often performed with members of his family. He was enthusiastic about classical Balinese arts as well as innovations that extended the traditions he loved. Pak Supartha dedicated his life to bringing the arts of Bali to everyone, from teaching beginning kecak to college students on three continents to organizing 5000 Balinese artists for the record-breaking CAKolosal in September of 2006.
In 1991, I called the Indonesian Embassy to see if there were artists available perform in the first Planet Gamelan festival at Dartmouth. Pak Supartha, part of the cultural division at the time, assured me that he could arrange for participants. He later arrived at our home in van with 14 dancers, complete with costumes and instruments! Fortunately we had just moved in, and had enough furniture-free rooms to carpet with futons so everyone would have a place to sleep. It was my first introduction to this gregarious, enthusiastic, generous artist; he was a sincere and singular ambassador for the arts of Indonesia.
— jody diamond, 1 march 2007
(Most of this information was provided by Francine Liem and the Supartha family, with some research. I am sure there is much more to be said, and I apologize for any ommissions or errors.)