Sebagai daerah yang tersohor dengan aktivampiritas seni dan budayanya, Bali memperoleh liputan yang luas dari media massa. Namun kerap yang mengemuka adalah pemberitaan-pemberitaan...
Arti Foundation was founded in 1998 by Kadek Suardana (director, composer choreographer), writer Gde Aryantha Soethama, legal expert Dewa Gede Palguna and former artistic director of Goetenberg Opera Ballet (Sweden) Ulf Gadd with the aspiration to create an organization committed to the conservation and development of Balinese performing arts and culture in general. It was also intended as a challenge to the somewhat stagnant situation in the world of performing arts in Bali, which was largely due to the development of institutionalized arts education and the influence of what is generally considered to be the ‘touristification’ or ‘industralization’ of Balinese culture. The term arti, which translates as ‘meaning’, was chosen to reflect the organization’s aim to provide a creative forum for young artist-performers in Bali.
Arti’s first project was the creation of Gambuh Macbeth, a performance that integrated the structural and aesthetic characteristics of Bali’s oldest dance-drama gambuh, with the story of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. To begin the creative process, the musicians and dancers from Pedungan, a village with a still active gambuh troupe from south Denpasar was invited in order for the performers to study the compositions, dances, and vocal techniques of the gambuh. After this, the performance itself was developed into something new, with a strong sense of drama suitable for today’s audiences. After its premier performance at the annual Bali Arts Festival in 1999, Gambuh Macbeth has been performed at various temples throughout Bali (as a voluntary offering or ngayah), at the MSPI Meeting (1999), Nusa Dua Festival (2000), Singapore Art Festival (2002), Indonesian Performing Arts Mart (2004) amongst others. In relation to the creation of Gambuh Macbeth, Arti Foundation organized a five-day Gambuh Parade in August of 1999 in cooperation with the Bali Post newspaper and the national television network TVRI Denpasar. At this event, groups from the villages of Pedungan (Denpasar), Batuan (Gianyar), and Anturan (Singaraja) as well as the Collage of Indonesian Arts (STSI Denpasar) were invited to perform their own versions of gambuh, along with Arti’s Gambuh Macbeth. A seminar was also organized in conjunction with the performances to highlight the continuing importance of gambuh in contemporary Bali.
The whole process, from initial creation to the organization of the parade was a challenge for each and every one involved. Not only were the dancer and musician’s artistic talents and skills tried, but their diligence and commitment towards a new process of creation were also tested to the full: with innovative results. For Arti, the underlying approach to conservation does not only involve the re-production or documentation of an existing practice, but also emphasizes direct study and participation to gain in-depth understanding of practice. This process of involvement is considered essential to ensure that any development from these forms retain their ‘essence’ or ‘spirit’, or in other words, to ‘stay true’ to artistic traditions while remaining creative in an increasingly globalized age.
Since working on the gambuh, Arti has focused its attention on several other forms of performing arts in Bali, and has resulted in the production of original creations such as the Ritus Legong (2002), Tajen (Cockfight) I (2002) and Tajen II (2006). Through creation, organization of events, and various social activities, Arti Foundation has searched for effective approaches in accomplishing its mission, and intends to continue to exist as a force with ‘meaning’ for the future of Bali.