The dancers in the controversial Malaysian tourism advertisement, which features the Balinese pendet dance, are Balinese, says a professor at the Indonesian Art Institute at Denpasar.
"The two girls in the ads are our alumni. The shots were taken about two or three years ago," the professor, Wayan Dibia, said Monday as quoted by Kompas.com
He urged the government to compile data on Indonesian art and cultural heritage to prevent its being passed off as a part of other cultures.
The Indonesian government has vowed to seek clarification from the Malaysian government about the motive behind the use of pendet dance in the tourism ads.
Malaysia has claimed cultural links to many Indonesian artistic legacies, such as batik, and the reog ponorogo dance.