Oleg Tambulilingan: The Buzz of Bees

The Dances of Bali | Written By, Kartika D. Suardana |

Every thing, tiny or big, on Earth or even in outer space, can be a great inspiration for human beings to create something beautiful, meaningful and useful. Mrs. Arini Alit, a Balinese dance maestro, once told me that every pose and routine of a Balinese dance is inspired by nature. Agem, the stationary pose, should be strong like a tree and to achieve this strength the shoulders, arms, legs, hip, torso and bottom should be positioned precisely to find balance. The fingers wave like coconut leaves being caressed by the wind’s soft blow. However, it isn’t just poses and routines that have been inspired by nature and everyday life, some or even many of the stories depicted by the dances are also derived from detailed observations of the natural world.

Oleg Tambulilingan (4)

Oleg Tambulilingan is a captivating Balinese Dance portraying the beautiful gestures of bees in search of love and comfort. The dance reimagines the courting behaviours of the male bee as he attempts to attract his female counterpart. The routines show the eagerness of the male bee as he constantly pursues the beautiful ’lady’, while she showcases her charming elegance – but plays hard to get! The dance follows as this pair of bees collect nectar from the flowers of a garden, flying back and forth and continuing this game of love. I Ketut Maria created Oleg Tambulilingan in 1952; he is a Balinese dance maestro from Tabanan, regency situated in the west part of Bali.

I Ketut Maria, famously known as I Mario, was around 50 years old when he created Oleg Tambulilingan. It was John Coast who proposed him to create a new dance, since he wanted to take Indonesian artists to Europe and the U.S. for a cultural exchange mission. That time, I Mario felt ill and too old to create a new dance, but through Coasts’ constant motivation and persuasion, he finally took the chance. He had taken some time to find some inspiration; he had almost given up when, again, Coast came to the rescue. Coast gave him a collection of books about classical ballet, complete with pictures. As I Mario flipped through the pages, sitting outdoors in Bali’s own beautiful nature, the maestro finally found inspiration and created the charming dance we see and enjoy today.leg Tambulilingan is a captivating Balinese Dance portraying the beautiful gestures of bees in search of love and comfort. The dance reimagines the courting behaviours of the male bee as he attempts to attract his female counterpart. The routines show the eagerness of the male bee as he constantly pursues the beautiful ’lady’, while she showcases her charming elegance – but plays hard to get! The dance follows as this pair of bees collect nectar from the flowers of a garden, flying back and forth and continuing this game of love. I Ketut Maria created Oleg Tambulilingan in 1952; he is a Balinese dance maestro from Tabanan, regency situated in the west part of Bali.

Curious about the enchanting beauty of the Oleg? Head towards Pura Dalem Ubud near the Ubud Palace. Every Tuesday evening the Karyasa Dance Troupe performs a series of dances at the temple’s hall and Oleg Tambulilingan is one of the several dances performed. The performance starts at around 7.30pm.

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