Nelayan Dance (Nelayan means Fisherman) is modern Balinese dance. According to history, this dance was created by I Ketut Merdana in 1960. This creation is usually performed by a man and two women. To begin with, the male dancer will appear first on stage. Over there, he will play a role as the fisherman. Here, the fisherman will start the day on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Later, the two female dancers will follow. Together they will work as a team to catch the fish. The movement shows that they are throwing a cast net to the ocean. Finally, this group of fishermen will be rowing the boat as the closing movement before the dance end. In short, this dance illustrates the traditional fishing method.
The Wardrobe and Instruments
The male dancer usually brings “dungki”. It is a large bamboo basket to carry fish. Dungki becomes the signature property of this dance. Meanwhile, the female dancers wear “lelunakan” for the upper style. Lelunakan is a yellow scarf that shaped in the dancers hair in such a way.
The instrument of this dance uses Gong Kebyar. Kebyar means to flare up or burst open. This is the most comprehensive ensembles of Bali traditional instruments. The characteristic of this type of instrument is having dynamic changes in its tempo. In addition, the other dance that is coming from the North of Bali, Teruna Jaya dance, also use Gong Kebyar as its accompanist.
The creator, I Ketut Merdana was born and raised in Desa Kedisan, Buleleng regency. This regency has the longest coastline in Bali. Hence, it also has the biggest population that works in the fishery sector. Probably, this dance is inspired by the environment where he used to live. In addition, not only Bali, in general, there are millions of fishermen in Indonesia.
Nelayan Dance and Maritime Power
Indonesia is an archipelagic state that has thousands of islands. Consequently, this country has the third-longest coastline in the world. Moreover, the position of the island is in a tropical region is a also big advantage. Furthermore, most of Indonesia’s ocean has a depth of fewer than 200 meters. As a result, this is a perfect place for many species of fish to live. For illustration, Indonesia now has around 3000 species of fish. Therefore, this makes Indonesia ranks third in the world in terms of biodiversity. This is such big a potential to make this country the next maritime power.