The Java-Bali Fusion Stormed Singapore
A thousand spectators crowded the Esplanade Theater Singapore to witness the performance of a new contemporary dance, that produced by fusion of sacred Bedaya Ketawang dance, and mystical Legong Calonarang. The calm and meditative moves of Bedaya Ketawang were sweetly combined with dynamic and energetic movements of Legong Calonarang producing an excellent fusion that mesmerized thousand of audiences.
This contemporary dance was a depiction of a never-ending struggle between virtue and evil. The Legong Calonarang dancers led by Bulantrisna Jelantik played the antagonist role. The energetic movements of Legong Calonarang created a perfect picture of a wicked witch and her disciples who spread death and destruction in an ancient kingdom. The Bedaya Ketawang dancers led by Retno Maruti with their elegant and calm movements brought an image of saintly priest and his followers, the protagonist of the story.
However, this struggle is not a clearly absolute good versus evil or white versus black style of war. There is a love in the heart of wicked witch, a mother’s love toward her disciples, and there is a wicked quality in the character of the saintly priest. This dance told us that there is white in black and black, no absolute white or total black. This philosophy perfectly symbolize in checkered black and white costumes of the dancers.
This contemporary dance reenacted the never-ending battle of virtue and evil in a unique way, and concluded the story with an excellent closing, the struggle was merge into a prayer for harmony, there was no winner or loser, at the end there was only a harmony of two opposite force existed.
Another amazing thing in this performance is the Legong Calonarang dancers, the Legong dancers came from various ethnic backgrounds. Even the three Balinese dancers are not living in Bali. They live in Jakarta or central Java since childhood, but all are very serious in learning the Legong dance.
Photos are supplied by Bulantrisna Jelantik