Bali has lost its second leading contemporary dancer and artistic director to pancreatic cancer in as many months with the death of I Kadek Suardana on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, in Guangzhou, China, where he was undergoing treatment.
In August, Bali mourned the loss of a leading contemporary dancer, Nyoman Sura, also claimed by pancreatic cancer.
Suardana, aged 57, had led many artistic groups on international visits during the course of his career. He has worked as a musical arranger, the composer of Balinese dance-drama, and the producer/director of many international tours of Bali performance groups.
Married to Mari Nabeshima, who was originally from Japan and who preceded him in death in 2010, Suardana had undergone five separate treatments for pancreatic cancer in China over the past two years.
The father of two daughters, Suardana's final trip to China was undertaken only a week before his death, accompanied by members of his late wife’s family.
Suardana, who was an acknowledged expert in the traditional Balinese performing arts, undertook early training in stage production in Jakarta. However, much of his career focused on contemporary theatre. He also completed a musical education at Traditional Music Conservatory (KOKAR) and studied dance at the Indonesian Dance Academy (ASTI).
Collaborating with I Dewa Gede Palguna, Aryantha Soetama and Ulf Gadd he established the Arti Foundation in 1998. His work with the foundation paved the way for a range of performances on local, national and international stages, including the Art of Peace Festival in 2002; Umbul-Umbul Festival in 2004 and a number of artistic missions abroad.
His monumental theatrical productions include: Dancing Demons produced with Australians from The Extra One Company in 1990; Bima – a collaboration with Sweden’s Goetenberg Opera Ballet in 1996; Gumbuh Macbeth (1998); composed the soundtrack for Api Cinta - a film production relating the life of Antonio Blanco in 1998; Ritus Legong (2002); Tajen I (2002); Tajen II (2006) and Sri Tanjung – The Scent of Innocence (2009).
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