Painting : The Dancers (I Gusti Nyoman Lempad - 1978)

Title : "The Dancers"

Artist : I Gusti Nyoman Lempad

Year : 1978

Chinese ink on paper


Dimension 32 x 24 cms


The work entitled "Penari" ( Dancer ) created by  I Gusti Nyoman Lempad reveals a classical episode of Calon Arang. This painting shows his strong personal style, Balinese new style in developing sources of puppets of Kamasan style. In creating his painting, he always used Chinese ink to draw the figures in linear lines, free expressive forms and movements. Yet, all the expression retains the decorative values of Balinese traditional painting. In this style, the figure of Rangda is painted with loose hair, goggling eyes, sharp fangs, sticking out tongue, loosing breasts. This figure is the transfiguration of Calon Arang. Rangda is actually Sisian, two accompanying women, Calon Arang student.


The works of Lempad expresses the classic episodes like Sutasoma, Jayaprana, Gagak Turas, and others. These works have a strong relation with the system of Balinese society with the traditional and cultural norms, because the mythological values are still related to the social life norms. So, the painting "Penari" has a strong symbolic dimension.


This painting specially expresses the episode of nge'reh, the transfiguration of Calon Arang into rangda. Beside the iconographic characteristics above, another symbol is the rising of the left leg above his right knee. Dissappointed of King Erlangga's rejection to his proposal to marry King's daughter, Calon Arang was angry, made riots, spread diseases. The symbol represent the long life war between the bad and good in the world.