During my years in Bali I must confess to not having witnessed a performance of the Tajen dance. It will be performed however at the Bali Art Centre during the Bali Arts Festival.
A controversial dance and music piece Tajen was first staged in 2001 by Kadek Suardana and Ulf Gadd, reflecting the experience of recent years in Indonesian history where provocation often results in conflict according to the Bali Discovery news.
5 years later and with the assistance of the Arti Foundation an updated version entitled Tajen II will be presented as part of the month long 27th Bali Arts Festival. Guaranteed to be highly entertaining, Tajen II opens with a dream-like sequence, moves to excerpts from traditional Balinese Janger vocal choruses and then builds to a powerful climax in a pseudo cockfight depicting the turmoil of the uncertain situation many Indonesians now confront.
Music for the performance is a combination of Balinese ethnic and other ethnic instruments, modern 'high-tech' instruments presented live or in a recorded format.
Tajen II is directed by Kadek Suardana, choreography by Ulf Gadd, starring Nyoman Sudarta, Dedi Diana, Jane Chen, Palupi, Nyoman Sura, and others.
The Arti Foundation
Founded in 1998 by Balinese theater director/composer Kadek Suradana, journalist Gde Aryantha Soethoma, Swedish choreographer Ulf Gadd, and others - The Arti Foundation is dedicated to creating an organization committed to the conservation and development of Balinese performing arts and culture in general. The term "arti" which translates as "meaning" was chosen to reflect the foundation's aim of providing a forum for creativity and professional training for young artist-performers in Bali. The challenge faced by the foundation and its members is to 'stay true' to their cultural heritage while responding creatively to an increasingly globalized age.
In the context of its conservation and cultural development works, Arti has been producing innovative stage performances; artistic events, publications, and other social activities.
Tajen II will be performed on Thursday July 6, 2006 at 8:00 p.m. : Gedung Ksirarnawa, Bali Art Centre, Denpasar.