I Nyoman Wenten, a longtime faculty member of The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, is one of Bali's most accomplished and versatile dancers and musicians, and is celebrated as a teacher and performer. He is known not only for his work in traditional Indonesian music and dance, but also for his creative east-west fusion of composition and performance work.
A traditionally-trained Balinese musician-actor-dancer, he was born in Sading village near the Balinese capital of Denpasar, to a family with several generations of musicians and artists. His earliest studies were with his grandfather, who was a master puppeteer, musician and dancer.
Wenten complemented his traditional training with formal study, graduating first from Bali's Conservatory of Music (Kokar), then later from the National Music and Dance Academy in Yogyakarta, Java. He also holds a master's degree from CalArts and a doctorate in ethnomusicology from UCLA.
Wenten has collaborated with numerous musicians and composers, including Morton Subotnick, Elaine Barkin, Robert Kyr, George Lewis, Dr. L. Subramaniam, Adam Rudolf and Bill Alves, and also with dancers including Eko Supriyanto, S. Maridi, B. Suharto, Sardono W. Kusumo and Marion Scott, artistic director and choreographer of Spirit Dances. He recently collaborated with Linda Sohl-Donnell, artistic director and choreographer for Rhapsody in Taps; the company spent two weeks in Bali rehearsing and performed with 25 members of the CalArts' Balinese gamelan Burat Wangi.
Wenten has toured Europe, Asia, Australia, and North and South America, giving lecture demonstrations and workshop as well as performances. He produced and served as musical consultant for a highly regarded series of CD recordings of gamelan music released by CMP Records, Germany.