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A Light of the Balinese Stage Bids Leave

Ni Ketut Cenik Bali Dance Legend Dead at 88.

(8/2/2010) Balidiscovery.com joins an island in mourning the passing of one of Bali's most treasured cultural icons, Ni Ketut Cenik, who died of heart failure on Saturday night, July 24, 2010, at the age of 88 years.



Ni Ketut Cenik Dancing the Bapang Gede (2004)


"Ibu Cenik" or, as she was also known, "Memen Jimat" remained an active teacher and performer of Balinese dance up until the time of her death, undertaking a triumphal Japanese tour as recently as 2008.

"Memen Jimat ("Jimat's Mom") was the mother the Balinese dance maestro, I Made Jimat, and grandmother to I Nyoman Budiarta who head the world-renowned Gamelan Semara Ratih in Batuan.

Possessed with an indomitable spirit and natural charm that invariably filled any performance venue, "Ibu Cenik" earned enthusiast audience responses from audiences both in Bali and abroad when she danced classic pieces of the Balinese dance repertoire, such as the Calonarang or Bapang Gede. The matriarch of a Balinese artistic dynasty, "Ibu Cenik" frequently danced at evening presentations that would see four generations of her household perform. Like their Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother with whom they shared the stage, the performing members of this household are, in their her own rights, master performers recognized for their skill in traditional Balinese music and dance.

Born in Batuan in the regency of Gianyar where she lived her entire life, Cenik played a role in the education of generations of Balinese dance devotees, with students hailing from both Indonesia and abroad.

A favorite of Indonesia's former President Megawati Soekarnoputri, Cenik danced in command performances for both Indonesia's first President, Soekarno, in the 1960s and more than 30 years later for his daughter and successor. Megawati and her brother, Guruh, visited Ibu Cenik's Batuan compound as children where they studies Balinese dance.

An international goodwill ambassador for Balinese dance, Cenik has performed abroad in the U.S.A., Holland, Germany, Japan and a number of other countries.

During her lifetime, Ni Ketut Cenik won numerous national arts honors, including the Wijaya Kusuma (1982), Dharma Kusuma Madya (1986) and Dharma Kusuma (1988).

"Ibu Cenik' is survived by 2 children, 11 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Her burial took place in Batuan on Sunday afternoon, July 25, 2010. Cremation rituals will be performed at a future date, yet to be determined.