Balinese gamelan-I Nyoman Wenten on Ugal

I NYOMAN WENTEN is one of Bali's most accomplished dancers, musicians, teachers, and performers. A native of Bali, a small island in the Indonesian archipelago, Mr. Wenten was born into a family with a long tradition of art-making. He first studied with his late grandfather, who was a master puppeteer, musician, and dancer.

Mr. Wenten deepened his traditional training with formal study, first at Bali's Conservatory of Music (Kokar), and later at the National Music and Dance Academy in Yogyakarta, Java. Through these prestigious institutions, he was able to study with many well known teachers/gurus, such as Bapak I Wayan Berata, Bapak I Nyoman Rembang, Bapak Nyoman Kaler, Bapak Nyoman Kakul, Bapak Nyoman Rendi, Bapak Ida Bagus Raka, Bapak Anak Agung Oka, Romo Sasminta Mardowo, Bapak Nartomo, Romo Suryo Bronto, Romo Suryadiningrat, Romo Ngung Kesowo, Bapak S. Maridi, and Bapak K.P.H. (Kanjeng Pangeran Haryo) Notoprojo (Pak Cokro). He also holds an MFA degree from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, and a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA.

Through his long term exposure to American avant-garde and new gamelan works, Mr. Wenten has composed musical pieces which have achieved a unique fusion of gamelan music and Western elements. He has collaborated with numerous musicians, composers, dancers, and choreographers, including Morton Subotnick, Elaine Barkin, Mirian Scott, Robert Kyr, George Lewis, Dr. Subramaniam, Adam Rudolph, S. Maridid, Sardono W. Kusumo, Ben Suharto, Eko Supriyanto, Nyoman Cerita, and Dewa Berata, to name a few. His most recent collaboration with Linda Sohl-Donnell, artistic director and principal choreographer for Rhapsody in Taps, garnered a prestigious Lester Horton Award.

He has toured and taught throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America, and Asia including China, the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Korea, and Taiwan. In January 2003, Wenten did a collaboration with five actor/dancers from the Peking Opera in Hong Kong in the production of Mozart's The Magic Flute.

In September 2003 and October 2004 he was invited to bring his Los Angeles based Balinese music and dance group, Burat Wangi, to Mexico City where they collaborated and performed with the Compania Nacional de Danza Folklorica. In October 2005 he was again invited to Mexico but this time he brought a 45 strong music and dance group, Barata Muni, from his home village in Bali. They toured for two weeks performing and giving workshops in several major cities. After which, they were nominated for and received the coveted Las Lunas award. October 2003 and April 2006, Gamelan Burat Wangi performed at the new Walt Disney Music Hall, Los Angeles, under Mr. Wentens artistic direction. In December 2005, Mr. Wenten with his wife, created a Balinese music and dance production of Oedipus Rex in Bali. This acclaimed undertaking involved 75 musicians, dancers, and actors, and was performed for the Bali Arts Festival in Denpasar, Bali. This was the result from a collaboration with Canadian playwright, William Maranda. Topeng Keras-I Nyoman Wenten

As a teacher, Mr. Wenten has taught at the Indonesian Arts Institute in both Bali and Java, and many gamelan music and dance programs in the United States and Canada. Such venues include The Center for World Music in Berkeley, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, Loyola-Marymount University, University of Wisconsin, Goldsmith College, Dominican College, Mills College, Simon Fraser University, Pomona College, and University of British Colombia, Vancouver.

Mr. Wenten is currently the chair of the World Music Program at the California Institute of the Arts, where he has been teaching Balinese gamelan, and male style Balinese and Javanese dance since 1972. He, with his wife Nanik, and father-in-law, founded the Balinese music and dance group, Burat Wangi, as well as the Javanese music and dance group, Kyai Doro Dasih, also in 1972. For the past fifteen years, he has been active in recording and producing highly regarded CDs of gamelan music for CMP Records. Oleg Tambulilingan-I Nyoman Wenten and Nanik Wenten

Javanese dance drama-Nanik Wenten as the queen

was born into a family of a long line of great court musicians, composers, and dancers in Yogyakarta, Java Indonesia. Today, she is amongst the most distinguished dancers, choreographers, and teachers from Java. She began her training in Javanese dance as a young girl at the Pakualaman Court and at the Kepatihan, the formal residence of the Prime Minister in Yogyakarta. There she studied with many great masters such as Bapak S. Maridi, Bapak Darso Pringgobroto, Ibu Suyanti, Romo Sasminto Mardowo, Bapak Suyadi, Bapak Ngaliman, and Bapak Nartomo. She continued to pursue her training at the Gajah Mada University where she became intensely involved in the art of Javanese dance. She eventually left the university and enrolled in ASTI, the prestigious dance academy in Yogyakarta. Already proficient in the dances of Java, she promptly began learning the dances of the neighboring island, Bali. There she studied with master dancers Ni Ketut Arini Alit, I Nyoman Gingsir, and I Gusti Ngurah Supartha to name a few. She soon became the only Javanese woman to perform leading roles in a Balinese dance company.

Since coming to the United States in 1973, she has toured with her partner and husband, I Nyoman Wenten to many different countries giving workshops, performances, lecture demonstrations, and participating in collaborative works. With her long involvement and exposure to yoga, ballet, modern, and contemporary dance while in America, Ms. Wenten has created a unique and exciting blend of Indonesian and Western dance. Throughout the years, she has collaborated with artists such as Morton Subotnick (composer), Ed Emshwiller (video artist), Larry Reed (film maker and puppet master), Marion Scott (choreographer), Linda Sohl-Donnell (artistic director, choreographer, and dancer of Rhapsody in Taps), choreographers Sardono W. Kusumo and Ben Suharto, playwright William Maranda, Vicki Ooi (Hong Kong Theater director), Jianguang Han and Fengying An (actors of Beijing Opera), amongst others. Golek-Nanik Wenten

In 1998 Ms. Wenten and her husband choreographed a dance drama for the opening of the new Performing Arts Center and amusement park in Bali (Taman Festival Bali). In 2005, she and Mr. Wenten created a Balinese music and dance performance of Oedipus Rex. This acclaimed production involved 75 musicians, dancers, and actors; and was performed for the annual Bali Arts Festival in 2006. This was a collaboration with the accomplished Canadian playwright, William Maranda.

Ms. Wenten has received several awards from the Indonesian Embassy in Mexico, Consulate General of Indonesia in Los Angeles and Vancouver, the Committee of the Ramayana Festival LA, International Masks Festival LA, Asia Pacific Festival in Vancouver, and a Gold Medal from the Committee of International Folk Dance Festival in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Ms. Wenten holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in dance from the California Institute of the Arts, where she currently serves on the faculty, and teaches both Balinese and Javanese dance. She, along with Mr. Wenten, and her father, K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat, is the co-founder and dance director of the acclaimed Balinese music and dance group, Burat Wangi, and the Javanese music and dance group, Kyai Doro Dasih. Both groups were established in 1972, and are based out of CalArts.

Burat Wangi

BURAT WANGI (fragrant offering) is an active Balinese music and dance group based out of the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. The group was founded in 1972 by I Nyoman Wenten (artistic director), Nanik Wenten (dance director), and K.P.H. Notoprojo, the most prominent Javanese musician and composer in the 20th century. At the present time, the group has 40 active members, (musicians and dancers). Their repertoire includes the newest style of gamelan orchestra Gong Kebyar, (modern Balinese orchestra), Semar Pegulingan (the Balinese courtly gamelan orchestra), traditional and new dance choreography, and the Balinese monkey chant (kecak). Burat Wangi is well known throughout California for their well trained musicians and dancers. Burat Wangi has performed in many different venues including the Disney Concert Hall, Redcat theater, the Japan American Theater, the Herbs Theater in San Francisco, the Skirball Center, the Getty Center, the California Plaza, the Festival of Sacred Music, Lotus Festival, International Festival of Masks, CalArts annual World Music Festival, UCLA Spring Music and Dance Festival, World Drum Festival, Festival of Micro Tonal Music, and Theater de la Danza, Mexico City, to name a few. They also do many performances and lecture demonstrations at different colleges and high schools throughout California.

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