If you usually watch Balinese-speaking ballet in conveying messages (dialogue), then try watching the art work entitled ‘Sati Quits Her Body.’ It will be different because the ballet directed by Dr. N.K. Dewi Yulianti, an English Lecturer from the Gamelan Music Study Program, Faculty of Performing Arts (FSP), the Indonesia Institute of the Arts (ISI) Denpasar, speaks English. “This English-speaking ballet is a character education medium funded by DIPA ISI Denpasar in 2021 in the Art Research and Creation (P2S) program,” said Dewi Yuliani, recently.
Indeed, this art composition is not the first to use English. Previously, there were The Finding of Sita (2017) and Daksa Curses Lord Siva (2019) posing the second composition. Now, for the Sati Quits Her Body, Dewi Yulianti collaborates with lecturers from the Dance Study Program and the Music Study Program. Although it is the third work, the presentation of Sati Quits Her Body is worked on more creatively with a distinctive traditional feel. If you are curious, these English-speaking ballet can be watched on Dewidevadevi YouTube channel.
Dewi Yulianti as the scriptwriter stated that Sati Quits Her Body is adapted from the Srimad Bhagavatam Book written by Srila Prabhupada, Skanda 4, Chapter 6. The Sati Quits Her Body is story telling about the disappointment of Sati Devi to her father, Prajapati Daksa, who has cursed her husband, Lord Shiva,” she said.
This ballet tells the story of when Sati Devi seduces her husband to accompany her to her father’s yajña ceremony. Lord Shiva was not pleased because he realized that his presence will be only an object of humiliation for Daksha. Sati defied her husband’s advice, and then went with Nandini. Finally, she felt the deepest pain in realizing how her father was so arrogant, insulting the so holy Lord Shiva.
To Sati, whoever insults another soul, he is the lowest creation in this life. Sati let go of her body because her regret was born from an arrogant father. Sati’s loyalty to Lord Shiva was finally proven by being reborn in the family of the Himalayan King as Parvati and reunites with Lord Shiva and lives happily in the Mount Kailas.
In order to produce an attractive ballet, Dewi Yulianti went through a detailed preparation started from library research on the Srimad Bhagavatam book with a focus on figurative sentences used in the text. Then, it was adapted into a drama text and a paper disseminated at the international seminar, Seminar on Austronesian Languages and Literature, Udayana University (Unud) on Friday (Sep 10).
The drama text is then taught to support students through online exercises because it was still during the Emergency Public Activity Restrictions (PPKM) period. After the script was understood, she held a live rehearsal by implementing strict health protocols attended by more than 300 participants at the Zoom meeting on October 2,” she said cheerfully.
In realizing the composition of Sati Quits Her Body, the choreography is handled by Dr. I Gusti Ngurah Sudibya, and music director by I Ketut Sumerjana. It was supported by students of the Faculty of Performing Arts, the ISI Denpasar, namely Dewa Made Ananda Kresna Yana, Kadek Ayu Diah Mutiara Dewi, Ida Bagus Yodhie Hariscandra, I Dewa Putu Krisna Riawan, Ni Kadek Diah Nanta Kuswandari, Ni Luh Manik Setiawati, I Wayan Tisna Dana, Kadek Dwi Juliani, Ni Putu Putri Laksmi Dewi, Ni Made Rahma Chelsia Dewi, Putu Rai Dhira Aditya, I Putu Gede Bagus Restu Pratama Wiwaha, I Putu Bagus Sastrawan, Putu Egi Pratama Putra and as a narrator was student from Udayana University, I Gusti Ayu P. Jesika Sita Devi N.
Dewi Yulianti who chairs the activity of P2S added that since her doctoral study, she has been concerned with religious texts because they are the main needs of education in Indonesia. For instance, among the 18 national character values outlined by the Ministry of National Education, the first one is religious value. “We are proud to have won the P2S grant competed at the ISI Denpasar. Senior artist at the ISI Denpasar like Made Sidia praised our work,” she said.
Dewi Yulianti both thanked the Chancellor of the ISI Denpasar, Chairperson of LP2MPP ISI Denpasar and their staff as well as all supporters of Sati Quits Her Body. “The ballet Sati Quits Her Body show can be watched via Dewidevadevi YouTube channel at the link https://youtu.be/khxccl1yAWk,” she said happily.
Head of the LP2MPP of ISI Denpasar, Dr. Ni Made Arshiniwati, stated that the ballet entitled Sati Quits Her Body is the result of Art Research and Creation (P2S) having been in accordance with the proposal put forward. Moreover, it has been disseminated at international seminar. “An English-speaking ballet composition like this needs to be continuously worked on as a medium for character education and improving English language skills,” she concluded. (BTN/015)