There’s a lot of hidden beauty on the island of Bali. Nature, history, and tradition, all wrapped up in one. From its inspiring landscape, the tradition in the form of art (such as dance) is held almost every day in every corners of Bali. There’s also one dance that becomes a symbol of the journey of love, it’s called Cendrawasih Dance. This dance played by two female dancers can be enjoyed in various art performances both in Bali and abroad.
The Cendrawasih dance is indeed thick with accent movements and Balinese musical accompaniment. The choreographer came from Bali, precisely from Sawan Village, Buleleng District, Buleleng Regency. His name is I Gede Manik. The Cendrawasih dance was first staged in 1956. And in fact, in the same area, other dances were also created such as Trunajaya, Wirangjaya, and Palawakya.
For the Cendrawasih Dance, the latest creations with their movements are arranged by N.L.N. Swasti Wijaya Bandem. The creation of this dance was first staged in 1988. It has quite a long period of time, but the Cendrawasih Dance is still known and played by dancers who have qualified skills to this day.
The Cendrawasih dance is divided into three parts. The first part is the opening part called pepeson. In this section a dancer who demonstrated the female bird of paradise. This dance was inspired by the Bird of Paradise or by the people of Bali called the Manuk Dewata. The bird does have an important role in Hindu mythology in Bali.
With a flapping motion and a sharp but cheerful glance, the opening or the main part is followed by the man. In this main part, the second dancer enters the stage area. This second dancer demonstrated the male Bird of Paradise. Both dancers demonstrated a pair of birds in love. Chasing each other, teasing each other, exchanging squint, and making out. Symbolically, the movements of the two dancers are indeed a marker of a pair of Birds of Paradise who are conducting a marriage ritual.
Costumes from dancers are also designed to resemble birds of paradise. The costume has gradation colors from light brown to bright yellow. The color is similar to the color of paradisaea or bird of paradise feathers. The heads of the two dancers are decorated with crested ornaments in a banner style. Well, the dangling cloth that is the same color as the wings of a bird is attached from the left to the right of the dancer's body. To make the distinctive eye glance of the Balinese dance moves, the dancers are dressed in smokey eyes. The sweet and cheerful smile of the dancer can make the audience carried away.
The closing part of the Cendrawasih Dance is the pengipuk. In this section, a pair of birds of paradise fly around and flirt with one another. The dance movements that rotate and flap their wings are called pengecet. The Cendrawasih dance was closed by the sound of the gamelan voice being increasingly soft. The two dancers slipped into the backstage. Boisterous applause and the occasional audience cry marked joyful cheers while enjoying the Cendrawasih Dance performance.