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Mengenang Sang Guru, A Tribute to Anak Agung Gde Mandera and Gusti Made Sengog
July 24th, 2007

A Tribute to Anak Agung Gde Mandera and Gusti Made Sengog
The Greatest Legong Teachers and Musician of Peliatan, Bali

Anak Agung Gde Mandera and Gusti Made Sengog

As the title suggest, this event is to commemorate two great Legong teachers from Peliatan that is Anak Agung Mandera and Gusti Made Sengog.

Pupils, who had the great opportunity being trained by Anak Agung Mandera and Gusti Biang Sengog in the past, wish to show their sincere love, gratitude and thanks for the best time and experiences received during the process of learning and performing, by arranging a very special event as a tribute to both great teachers.

Gusti Biang Sengog, known more as Niang Sengog, is a dance instructor originally from Peliatan. From the book “Dancing Out of Bali” written by John Coast, her name was already mentioned as the teacher of three young dancers who perform the Legong Dance in the United States for the first time in 1952.

She has been teaching for almost 5 generation of Legong Keraton dancers for the Gong Gunung Sari group between the year 1950- 1970. She is known as a very modest person, rather quiet but can be very stern at times. She usually comes with her basket of betel leaf & nut. In teaching the dancers Niang Sengog will hold and hug and use her arms and her whole bodies to guide the dancers until she feels the dancers are perfect.

While teaching she is always accompanied by Anak Agung Mandera, more known as Gungkak Mandera who sings the dance melody and play the drum (kendang). In many ways without many words, Niang Sengog has enriched the quality of “ pelegongan” in Bali. She died in 1972. Even though she had a chance to teach at the formal dance institute (ASTI) in Denpasar, her name is hardly mentioned in any Legong literature, as one of the outstanding Legong teachers among many other Legong teachers. However for all her pupils, she is the best and will always be remembered.

After she died, Gungkak Mandera continue teaching the “Peliatan style Legong” to several generation until the end of his life. Gungkak Mandera was born on March 05, 1905, and since 1928 leading the club (sekeha) Gong Gunung Sari. He is very charismatic and always very friendly, full of creative ideas. He had the opportunity to join a Cultural Group to the World Expo in Paris, as well lead the Peliatan Dance Group to the USA in 1952 which were initiated by John Coast. He even married two of the Janger dancers who were within the Cultural Group. Later many of his children became great dancers, who continued their father dedication in performing art in Peliatan.

The dance style thought by Niang Sengog and Gungkak Mandera is slightly different compare to other Legong teachers. The movement inclines to be very dynamic, full of vibration and the posture (agem) more bended to the front with the chin up. This style has become the trade mark of Gunung Sari Peliatan, more known as the Peliatan Style.

Even-though the sekeha Gong has gone through many changes, and become several other groups, several pupils of Niang Sengog and Gungkak Mandera until to-date are still very much involve in the performing dance. They are all very active in teaching the next generation, always creative and keep performing all over Bali, outside Bali as well as overseas. Among others from the first generation are Gusti Ayu Raka still teaches at ARMA Museum in Ubud. AA Arimas and the late AA Oka Salim not to long a go perform the Peliatan Style Dance at the special occasion of retired dancers performance. From the third generation, Bulan Trisna setup the “Bengkel Tari in Bandung and Jakarta” and teaches Legong Peliatan Style to her students. Her latest performance is the Bedoyo Legong Calonarang Performance at the TIM Jakarta in 2006. As well Guruh Sukarno Putra established the Swara Mahardika and GSP (Gencar Semarak Perkasa) in Jakarta, and choreographs a special performance utilizing Peliatan style movements and further develops into the famous Legong Untung Surapati. The members of the fourth and fifth generation until to-date are still teaching and performing regularly and are well known within the community in Bali as the Peliatan Dancers. AA Raka Astuti, AA Sri Utari, Niluh Man, Cok Istri Ratih Iriani, AA Gede Oka Dalem, has since the year 2000 continuously developing the Peliatan Style at the Balerung Mandera Srinertya Waditra, and work together with several young musicians to create the Genta Bhuana Sari, as the new generation of talented musicians.

As a tribute to Niang Sengog and Gungkak Mandera, their pupils from several generation has organized a photo and film exhibition from August 27th until September 26th 2007, and several dance performances, that is on August 26, 27, 28 and 29th as well as on the closing night that is 26th September 2007, located at Balerung Stage, Peliatan and Ancak Saji Puri Agung Peliatan (open stage, Peliatan Palace)

We all welcome you to participate and experience this special event directly by visiting the exhibition and see the special performances.

Komplek Puri Guruh Sindang Paridesa
Br. Teruna, Peliatan, Ubud 80571, Bali, Indonesia
Tel: +62- 0361- 970503, 972124 Fax: +62 – 0361 – 970503
E: balerung@peliatan.com W: www.peliatan.com/balerung/

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