I Nyoman Wenten

Music & Dance Director

          I Nyoman Wenten is one of Bali's most accomplished dancers and musicians and is a highly celebrated teacher and performer. He is a deservingly legendary Indonesian performing artists and recognized and celebrated as a true master of Balinese music and dance. Furthermore, has distinguished himself as a teacher of those arts forms in the US for many decades.

          A native of Bali, a small island in the Indonesian archipelago, he has descended from many generations of great artists. He first studied with his late grandfather, who was a master puppeteer, musician, dancer and teacher. Mr. Wenten deepened his traditional training with formal study, first at Bali's Conservatory of Music and Dance known as (Kokar), then at the National Academy of Music and Dance in Yogyakarta, Central Java, known as ASTI. Wenten also holds an MFA degree from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, and a Ph.D in ethnomusicology from UCLA.

Nanik Wenten

Dance Director

          Nanik was born in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia from several generations of renowned musicians and dancers. She began her training in Javanese dance as a young girl at the esteemed Paku Alaman court and the Kepatihan (Prime minister house) in Yogyakarta.  She continued her dance training at Gajah Mada University then enrolled at Akademi Seni Tari Indonesia (ASTI), a prestigious dance academy. While excelling in Javanese dance, she also began to learn the dance style of the neighboring island of Bali. Soon she became well-known as the only Javanese woman to perform leading roles in a Balinese dance company. Nanik also holds an BFA and MFA degrees in dance from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, CA.

          Nanik’s footprint not only in Balinese and Javanese dance, but in dance in general, has been cast through a storied career of performance and most importantly teaching. Her teachings have brought her from workshops in Los Angeles to Canada to Singapore and around the world. The impact of her teachings is both resounding and immeasurable in that her students take in what they learn, and are most successful when they make it their own.

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PKH Kanjeng Pangeran Aryo Notoprojo
(Pak Cokro)

Past Founder

          Born on March 17, 1909, Pak Cokro was given the title K.R.T., given to the affectionately nicknamed Pak Cokro by the Pakualaman court minor court in Yogyakarta, Central Java, is only given to someone who is at the highest rank of court musician, and also one who is royal descent.

          Pak Cokro is considered by many experts of Javanese music to have attained a breadth of knowledge that no other gamelan musician could equal. Stemming from this mastery, his original works created long-lasting changes to gamelan, including inventing new genres. Pak Cokro's extensive list of notable contributions to music and dance includes Sendratari Ramayana (“Ramayana dance drama”). Premiered in 1961 in an outdoor amphitheater area of the great 9th century Hindu temple "Prambanan", this was the beginning of a practice of dance dramas.

          In 1977, NASA launched spacecraft Voyager 2 on grand tour to the solar system. Attached to the Voyager 2 is a beautiful golden phonograph record containing messages and pieces of the earth, for any extraterrestrial intelligence that might encounter it. Included in the phonograph is one of Pak Cokro's compositions, Ketawang Puspawarna, which was recorded with his gamelan group at the Paku Alaman Palace in Central Java.

          In 1971, he joining the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts. While a full-time faculty member, he taught many workshop and summer sessions throughout North and South America. During his illustrious career, Pak Cokro has received many awards and honors for his accomplishment from Indonesian and outside Indonesia.

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