In the period of nearly hundreds of years, various forms and genres of performing arts in Bali have grown and developed very rapidly and extensively. In the beginning, the growth of various genres of arts was motivated by the emergence of reform efforts in percussion in the second decade of the twentieth century in North Bali, in the form of Kebyar percussion. "Composition of Kebyar percussion is a melodic mix between old gending-gending (compositions) with the new ones arranged in a game which is very varied and dynamic, in the form of barungan gamelan of kebyar gong with pelog saih five rhythm," Bambang Pudjasworo said at UGM Graduate School recently.
The lecturer of Indonesia Institute of The Arts of Yogyakarta said the matter during his open examination of doctoral program. In his dissertation entitled Kebyar Dance in Political, Social, Economic, and Cultural Developments in Bali in the Twentieth Century, Bambang revealed the presence of this new genre of percussion finally managed to inspire the creative spirit of artists of performing arts in Bali. Among them is I Wayan Peraupan known by the name of I Wayan Wandres or Pan Wandres, a dance artist from Jagaraga Village, Buleleng. "He is regarded as the first creator of Kebyar dance, with his work Kebyar Legong dance," Bambang said.
Another artist is I Ketut Maria or I Mario, a dance artist from Tabanan. He offers a creative interpretation of Sitting Kebyar Dance and Kebyar Terompong, Capung Manjus, and Oleg Tambulilingan. Furthermore, there is I Gde Manik, a dance artist and percussion expert from Jagaraga (North Bali). In addition to creating Palawakya Dance, he creatively improved the work of I Wayan Wandres’ choreography into Taruna Jaya Dance. There is also I Nyoman Kaler, Legong Dance teacher and well-known percussionist from Banjar Kelandis, Denpasar. He created several Kebyar dances, among others Mergapati, Wiranata, Candrametu and Panji Semirang.
Furthermore, there is I Wayan Beratha, a dance artist and percussionist from Sumerta, Denpasar. I Wayan Beratha successfully created Kebyar composition, farmers dance, and various forms of ballet. "Since then the term Kebyar or Kekebyaran has been used to name the new ensembles and new creation dance in Balinese arts because it has all the characteristic features of complicated, hard, stomping, sharp, and dynamic movements. Both types of arts, percussion and dance, emphasize the disclosure of overwhelming emotions and amazing dramatic action," Bambang said.
Development of percussion and Kebyar dance in the twentieth century, in view of Bambang Pudjasworo, was influenced by various political, social, economic and cultural issues. The effects are from the cultural politics of colonial policy called Baliseering, a struggle of social classes in Bali, education movement, women’s social movement, cultural diplomacy of Sukarno’s political propaganda carried out by LEKRA and LKN, the development of cultural industries and tourism in Bali. "And of course the cultural strategy of the government through art festivals, especially the Bali Arts Week," he explained.
Through ethnochoreology approach, Bambang said as a new genre, the presence of Kebyar dance and percussion in Balinese art shows the fact that the Kebyar percussion is cultural expression of colonized North Balinese people. As a colonized group, the North Balinese people utilize Kebyar as a symbol of cultural movement in finding self-identity and looking for an alternative of better life. "As a cultural expression, Kebyar is a counter-culture, which is a form of resistance done symbolically by North Balinese society towards social, cultural, and political ideology of the Dutch colonialism," he explained.