Gracious Pendet Dance Performance Captivates President Biden

Presiden AS Joe Biden saat tiba di Bali - IST

NUSA DUA, –  Upon arrival at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Bali International Airport on Sunday, November 13, 2022, at around 8 p.m. Central Indonesian Time (WITA), President of the United States of America Joe Biden was greeted with a performance of Pendet traditional dance.

As walking down the stairs of Air Force One, Biden who wore navy blue suit was welcomed by the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno.

The majestic sound of traditional Balinese gamelan instruments and the dancers who performed gracefully captivated the President.

“Amazing, splendid, wonderful,” he said.

Other world’s leaders who will attend the G20 Summit in Bali on November 15-16, 2022 were also greeted by Pendet dancers. Holding silver bowl full of flowers and janur (young coconut leaves) on their right hands, the dancers who appeared beautiful with gorgeous floral long braid hairstyle and Balinese multicolor traditional fabric representing grace, performed Pendet Dance as a custom to welcome guests in Bali, the Island of the Gods.

Balinese artist and cultural scholar Professor I Wayan Dibia explained that Pendet Dance performed to welcome guests in Bali contains the value of respect of the Balinese people towards their guests.

“The dance reflects how the Balinese and Indonesian people respect their guests. Pendet Dance has become a performing dance for entertainment. So, no religious values or traditions are violated,” Dibia told the G20 Communications and Media Team on Monday, November 14, 2022.

Pendet Dance was originally a sacred dance which became a part of the life of the Hindu community in Bali and also a part of the piodalan ceremony at the temple or family sanctuary. This ceremony is a manifestation of gratitude, respect, and joy to welcome the gods who descend to earth. Etymologically, the word “mendet” comes from “mendak” (to welcome). From this ritual, the Pendet Dance was born.

Pendet Dance was developed from ‘Pendet Dewa’ ritual dance created by I Wayan Rindi. The dance was later developed by Ni Ketut Reneng in 1950. At that time, the dance was performed with four dancers. Later in 1961, I Wayan Beratha refined it by adding the number of dancers to five. To greet heads of states, Pendet Dance is performed by dozens of dancers. (kanalbali/RLS)



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