I Made Bandem

I Made Bandem is one of the most well-known figures in Baliís art world today. He comes from a family of artists; his father is famous within the Balinese opera. Bandem started to learn Balinese dance at a very early age by imitating and watching his parents performing the Arja. By the age of ten he had already begun performing the Baris, Arja and Kebyar Duduk. After learning from his father, Bandem went on to expand his knowledge of dance by studying with many famous masters. He then gained his own fame from dancing the dance of the white monkey messenger in the Balinese Ramayana ballet.

After graduating from a conservatory in Bali, he won a scholarship to become one of the first Balinese dancers to study in the United States. He earned his Masters degree in dance from the University of California in Los Angeles, and in 1980 he earned his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Upon his return to Bali, Bandem became the director of the Indonesian College of the Arts in Denpasar, a position he held for 16 years. Last year he was promoted to the position of Recktor of the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) of Jogyakarta, the oldest art institute in Indonesia. Throughout his career, Bandem has been involved with numerous committees on art and culture in Bali. He is the founder and director of Cipta Budaya Foundation, and was a member of the Indonesian House Assembly from 1988 until 1998. Bandem was also a member of the Art Consortium of the Indonesian Education and Culture Department, from 1988 to the present time.

As a scholar, Bandem has spoken at many different conferences, both nationally and internationally. He has published many artifacts and books concerning music, dance, and art in general. As an artist he has performed throughout the world. He has led many performing groups to different world Expositions, including those in Vancouver, Brisbane, and Sevilla. In 1982 Bandem founded a performing group known as Dharma Shanti and started its first tour in Japan for the anniversary of Japan Foundation. He was chosen to be the artistic director for many colossal performances for PATA conferences, WTO Meeting and several other international conferences.

Among the many awards received by Bandem, those that most distinguish his contribution to the art world in Indonesia include the 1992 "Adhi Karya Award" from the Tourism, Post and Telecommunication Department of the Republic of Indonesia, for his success to support tourism by arts and cultural productions. In 1994 he received an International Music Council Award from UNESCO for his effort in the preservation and development of art in Bali, and the highest award, "Dharma Kusuma," was awarded to him in 1995 by the Government of Bali. Additionally, the Shanggar Dewata Painting Association Ball awarded Bandem the "Lempal Prize" in 1998 for his involvement and contribution upon the world of visual art in Bali.