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Ni Wayan Kerti

A Past Story on Joged Dancer

Ni Wayan KertiJoged Bumbung? When hearing this kind of association dance in Bali, Ni Wayan Kerti, 90, immediately smiles. Understandably, the simple art always involving the audience in the stage to dance has provided a unique experience for her. Tetekes, egolan and encah cerengu gestures presented in each performance can invite more spectators. So, it is no wonder if the name Kerti and Joged Bumbung seem to have perfectly united.  
In the 1960s, the fame of Ni Wayan Kerti as a Joged Bumbung dancer from Sedang village echoed throughout the Bali Island. She made performance almost every night. Even, she occasionally did it twice in one night. “At that time, I was always busy because we had no the heart to refuse the request,” she said when met at her home at Susuk hamlet, Sedang village, Abiansemal subdistrict, Badung.

Though being old enough, the scratch of beauty owned by this single-son woman is still visible. Her artist life is intensely reflected in her activities. Her vivacity to preserve and yield the generation still glows in her eyes. “Taking care of my house is my current daily activity. I cannot dance or train Joged Bumbung as it used to,” said the award recipient from the Badung government while smiling friendly. Kerti said that during the colonial era and civil unrest (G 30 S PKI) she had become a famous Joged dancer. Other than entertaining the public, she also often entertained foreign tourists or just took pictures in complete outfit of Joged. She was once invited to make performance to outside Bali by airplane. Unfortunately, she forgot the location.

According to Kerti, becoming a Joged dancer was miserable by carrying favor. Originally, she was forced by the headman. As teenager in the past, she had to work to help her parents earn a living. She became a labor of picking coffee berries in the area of Seririt, Buleleng. Before having been working for a month, she was later picked up by the headman to dance Janger and Joged. Aside from having a beautiful face, Kerti was also born into a family of artist where her mother was a Gandrung dancer and father was a classic gamelan musician, so it was not difficult to train her. As proof, after a two-day exercise, Kerti directly made a performance. Acclaim of the spectators was festive, even though she left a single session. “Since then, I was always busy doing the shows and Sedang village was renowned for its Joged art that was indeed best selling,” she recalled.

Being successfully becoming a Joged dancer, Kerti was then appointed to be a coach. She trained out of the village for weeks or even for months. She trained in the regions like Klungkung, Badung, Denpasar and Tabanan. She gave training without money-orientation. However, it tended to be associated with brotherhood, so there would be people greeting her when going somewhere. Then, when asked about the current phenomenon of Joged dance, this wife of the late I Wayan Daweg only kept silent. She said the current development of Joged was remarkable. The joged dancers were rocking, no longer moving side to side. Apparently, the current Joged dancers had left the pure pattern of Balinese dance. Their erotic movement gave poor impression. “Yes, after all men are happy, so such kind of Joged dancers are in demand,” she said.

Unlike in the past, the dance truly served as a social dance that was much more entertaining. Ethics and creativity of Balinese dance were complied with. Even, between the Joged dancer and co-dancer competed each other to show off the dancing skill. When moving, they were moving the buttock to the right and left side instead of back and forth. “Their movement gesture is usually still paying attention to the existing pattern, so it looked lively, not rocking ass continuously,” she concluded. (BTN/015)

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