Yayasan Bali Purnati | The Bali Purnati Center For The Arts

Artists In Residence 2012




Arul Ramiah

Dance of the Divine Nymphs
26 February 2012

Tonight’s performance found me. The gods of Bali appear to have conspired with the staff in Purnati. At their gentle urging I started working with the Balinese dance goddess Murni.  Under Murni’s stern command I was initiated into secret ceremonial Balinese dances – rejang and legong.  I hope to start a cross-cultural experiment – to marry the watery Balinese dance with the fiery movements of Bharatanatyam.

Tonight’s show is entirely improvisational. No set choreography.  I hoped to rely on the God and spirits of Purnati for this site-specific work. I had chosen various sacred spots in Purnati – the Banyan tree, the stone temple, the cave by the river and the amphitheatre.  I will make an offering to each of these sites and ask the spirits for permission before I dance.   We have not invited anyone – no audience in the traditional sense.  I have chosen my favorite music – none of them traditional dance music – whether from the Bharanatyam universe or legong universe.  But all imbued with deep personal meaning for me – a combination of divine tamil songs, jathis from my guru KJ Sarasa and a piano composition from an Italian pianist Einaudi.  This cross cultural playlist is partly a tribute to the founders of Purnati.  It is also a reflection of my recent journeys.