Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Taruna Jaya Dance Performance at Ubud Royal Palace, Bali.

Taruna Jaya Dance Performance

"Taruna Jaya (The energy of youth). I Gede Manik was a student of Pan Wandres and in 1952 (1) he choreographed Taruna Jaya ("Victorius youth") out of Kebyar Legong. At that time, it was danced by two women, but today it is usually done as a solo. This dance requires immense energy for the numerous changes in speed, dynamics and mood that the dancer must capture.

"Taruna jaya describes many moods of a youth: coyness, bashfulness, irritability, sweetness, and of course, energy. Strong eye movements are a prominent feature, and often include nelik (a wide eyed stare). At one point, the dancer flings her extended kain to the side and sidles up to the drummer to flirt with him. He may either resist her advances or play along. The costume (usually dark purple) uses a headcloth with a unique shape, a log-sleeved tunic and a kain pleated on the left side with the end dangling. There are many moments when the dancer picks up the end of the cloth to emphasize a musical point or mood. She also uses a fan to its greatest advantage."(2)

The version I saw at the Ubud Royal Palace (last July 2009) is practically the same that Balinese usually see in their village religious events.

It was impossible to record more than a few seconds of video and only the photographs can show what it has been described before. I added two more videos (from Youtube), a solo and a two-women version, to give a wider appreciation of this dance.

(1) That's why I don't mention Miguel Covarrubias in this post. This dance wasn't born yet. Covarrubias' last travel to Bali was in 1932.
(2) "Balinese Dance, Drama and Music. A Guide to the Performing Arts of Bali" by I Wayan Dibia and Rucina Ballinger. Page 90.

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