The Balinese can not be separated from the dance. Almost every religious activity, always accompanied by dance. For the Balinese, dance is an “offering” as they present sesajen (offerings). The Balinese dance can be categorized into three groups namely:
Legong is a classical dance of Bali which has a very complex movement. The movements are tied to the music from percussion. “Legong” word comes from the “leg” which means flexible or elastic, and then interpreted as a graceful movement. During its development, Legong develop into Legong Kraton.
This dance is performed by two girls or more by displaying condong characters as the opening. In other situations, Legong dance performed by one or two pairs of dancers without displaying the condong characters first. Characteristic of the Legong dance is the use of fan.
Barong is a character in Balinese mythology. Barong is the king of the spirits and symbolize the “good side”, then the “evil side” is symbolized by Rangda. The most popular Barong is “Barong Ket“, shaped like a lion. Please watch the Bali dance video below.
Barong dance Bali is derived from Gianyar, the center of the various Balinese arts. In Calonarong drama or another dance of Bali, Barong uses his magic to defeat Rangda.
Bali Kecak dance was created in 1930 by Wayan Limbak and the German painter Walter Spies. This dance is a development Sanghyang dance (sacred dance), which the drama of Ramayana story. Wayan Limbak popularizing this dance while traveling the world with his Balinese dancers.
Kecak dancers are mostly men. The dancers sit in a circle, lifting his arms, and with a certain rhythm called “cak“. They act like monkeys army that helped Rama defeat Ravana who kidnapped his wife, Dewi Sinta. The dancers that sit in a circle is wearing a plaid fabric like a chessboard on their waist. Besides these dancers, there were other dancers who portray the Ramayana characters as Rhama, Shinta, Hanuman, Jatayu, and of course the wicked Ravana.
One of the Balinese arts center is in Ubud Bali. Ubud is the place you should visit if you want to see Balinese dance. Various bali dance held regularly in various places in Ubud. Click here if you want to find hotel or Accommodations at Ubud area. Below are the various places and a schedule where you can watch Balinese dance**:
Barong and Kris Dance
“Arjuna Tapa” Ballet
Balinese Shadow Puppet
Leko and Janger Ballet
Abimanyu Ballet and Drama
Mahabaratha Ballet and Drama
Ramayana Ballet and Drama
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