Balinese Dances


Balinese dance

Dance is not a mere cliché.  It is the main part from of Balinese culture. Kept and taught in the village hall and places, dance is perform at the main temple festivals and ceremony of the cycle of the life and death. The dances for tourists, now presented in the hotels, and specialized stages.

There many kind of dance in Bali, and that can be categories to be as follows: Sacred dance, ceremonies dance, regional dance, people dance and many more will describe here.
And we can categories more to be the famous one and until present still performed in many stage or theatre in Bali was : The Classic Drama, Kecak Dance, Barong Dance, Topeng Dance, Baris Dance, SangHyang Dance, Calonarang Dance, etc.

Kecak Dance

“Cak-cak-cak,”  the obsessive sound of a choir from beyond the dust of ages suddenly rises between the lofty trees. Darkness looms over the stage. Fifties of bare breasted men sit in a circle around the flickering  light of an oil lamp  chandelier. “Cak-cak”. They start dancing to the rhythmic sound of their own odd voices. Their hand raised to the sky and body shaking in unison. The rhythm is provided by a chanting ‘monkey’ chorus. The polyrhythmic sound of the chanting provides the name, ‘Ke-chak’.


Barong dance

If black magic prevails, a village fails into danger, and extensive purification ceremonies become necessary to restore a proper equilibrium for the health of the community. Dramatic art is also a mean of cleansing the village by strengthening its resistance to harmful forces through offerings, prayers and acts of exorcism. Such is the symbolic play of the two remarkable presences-the Barong and Rangda. Barong is the magical protector of of Balinese villages. As “Lord of forest” with its long mane and fantastic fanged mask. He is the apponent of Rangda The witch.  Who rule over the spirits of the darkness. Barong and Rangda are opposed in a never ending fight, that of a good and evil.


Kebyar Duduk Dance

He took the costume from Kebyar Legong, but to move in a squatting position he had to hold up the train with one hand as he moved and this became the hallmark of the dance.  In Kebyar Duduk there is no pantomime whatever, and the narrative element is absent. The dance is set to a single musical composition which lasts for perhaps twenty minutes. The dance progresses through a sequence of moods of an idealized Balinese youth who is just at the point of reaching full maturity. He expressed a gamut of emotions, ranging from sweet flirtatiousness to bashfulness, melancholy and angry bravado.


Legong Dance

In legends, Legong is the heavenly dance of divine nymphs. Of all classical Balinese dances, it remains the quintessence of femininity and grace. The most popular of Legongs is the Legong Kraton, Legong of the palace. Formerly, the dance was patronized by local rajas and held in a puri, residence of the royal family of the village. Dancers were recruited from the aptest and prettiest children. Today, the trained dancers are still- very young; a girl of fourteen approaches the age of retirement as a Legong performer.


 Pendet Dance

Recently, pendet was introduced to open the Legong, Here, the young girls are accomplished members of dance troupe, and their movements are coordinated an exact. Toward the finished of the dance, the girls make praying gestures and throw flowers to the audience a welcome and blessing to the public.


In 1968 a huge religious procession in Tabanan produced many versions of Pendet one was danced by a member of the household, who presented the family’s offerings in a slow Pendet before the approaching wave of thousands of people. In large villages, a selected group of young girls, bare shouldered and formally dressed in wraps of gold cloth, carried silver bowls of flowers as they danced a more elaborated Pendet, choreographed in interweaving rows and files.

When the procession settled before a small temple, old women dressed in ordinary clothes began to dance still another from of Pendet They carried no offering but moved feverishly as if possessed by the music.

Secret Ceremonial Dance

These ceremonial dances and dramas directly relate to religious ceremonies by serving an offering, a prayer, or an exorcism of e spirits. Presented with the active participation of the pemangku (the peoples priest and caretakers of the village temple), they area drama form of contact with the spiritual world, this communicative purpose runs throughout a performance.

As religious dances, they are usually within or near a temple. Pendet may be dance whenever there is occasion to present and the ring. In the Sanghyang, in which the dance enter trance prior to dancing, the ceremonies begins in the temple and a procession formed to march to the dance clearing near, Because of their association with evil spirit the Calon Arang and Barong plays are generally held near the temple of the dead the graveyard, which. Are thought to be favorite meeting  places of witches and their disciple.

The masks of the Barong and Rangda bear a spiritual significance. Because of the relation to the forces of magic and their power to exorcise evil spirit, they are considering sakti, magically powerful. Only certain avers, no matter how exquisite theyre work, capable of fashioning a new mask of this. A purification ceremony with elaborate of is always held to initiate a new Barong and Rangda mask. When they are not being used or played, the masks are kept in a special pavilion within the temple, where they are displayed amidst heaps of flower and fruit offerings during temple festivals The Rangda mask, capable of emitting dangerous vibrations, is always kept covered by a white clots as security to contain its magic. The cloth only removed immediately before the drama by the Rangda actor as he enters the stage Some masks considered extremely skate over a hundred years old, and are followed large processions whenever they leave temple.

Topeng Dance

Topeng Inside the curtain booth, the topeng actor places his masks, all neatly covered with-white cloth, in their proper order of appearance. After dedicating an offering, he unwraps the first mask, eyeing it for some time as if he were taking into his personality all that is individual about the character reflected in the immobile face. He quickly Puts it on and turns. Already his movements are rendered as dance and a transformation is apparent. The Curtain trembles, the gamelan builds to .a fervent pace of expectation, and dancing feet visible behind the curtain slowly lift and settle to the ground.
A stoic-looking man with wide eyes and a questionable smile draws apart the curtain. In swift motions of defiance, he hovers inside the booth, uncertain whether to come out or not, He then begins to march forward, gazing inquisitively, putting a finger to his forehead, taking a bit of his clothing, and, in one delicate gesture, letting it drop from his hand. He resolves to dance, radiating the sound of the gamelan in the vibration of his fingertips and pattering feet. After a few moments, he retreats to the curtain and vanishes. The curtain shakes again. Suddenly, it is pushed aside in the grand gesture of a buxom movie star stepping in to the limelight. There before you stand an extremely shy, effeminate young man who draws a limp hand to his mouth and blushes at his abrupt exposure. Languidly he clings to the curtain. Terribly sweet at heart, he cannot bear everyone laughing at him, which of course everyone is. Feeling he should come out for a moment, he coyly moves on stage, swinging to and fro with his hands dangling in the posture of loose noodles. Helplessly, he just stands there looking ridiculous, unable to move except to flutter his, eyelashes, while the audience rocks in laughter. Such abusiveness is too much for him~ ‘He quickly seeks sanctuary behind the curtain. Thus was the introductory display of masks for one performance of Topeng.


One man the principal Topeng actor, who by changing his mask impersonates a series of different characters, enacted both the stoic and the clown. Topeng means something pressed against the face a mask. Topeng masks survive from the 16th century. Today’s mask play, commemorating historical exploits of local kings and heroes, was influenced by the traditional Gambuh dance. Often called the chronicle play, Topeng stories are drawn from the babad literature, genealogical histories of important noble families set in the villages, kingdoms and temples of Bali. The medium of a mask play necessarily alters the telling of history. The borderline between fact, legend, and the miraculous has little importance in Topeng, in which many episodes include divine intervention or acts of magic. The intent is not to reconstruct exact personalities of the past, but to portray their types: sweet or manly, heroic or simple-minded. The noble characters, usually a king and his family, dance in the refined style.
Their stature is so lofty, they do not deign to speak and express themselves only in pantomime. They are accompanied by two clumsy clowns, who wear half-masks which leave their mouths free to talk as interpreters for their dignified masters. Along with the nobility and clowns is always a marvelous display of crude caricatures, whose sole function is decorative and entertaining. There are many forms of Topeng, depending upon the set of masks used and the style of the performers. A popular solo performance is the classical Topeng Tua, representing the movements of an old man. In a normal Topeng play, three or four actors, usually all men, impersonate all the characters.
A full set of Topeng masks, numbering from thirty to forty, belongs to the principal Topeng actor who is responsible for the series of eccentric personalities that produce the comedy of the play. To watch a good Topeng actor is truly inspirational. Through an endless resource of bizarre mannerisms and tones of speech, he manages to concentrate the whole of human folly into one serial panorama of grotesquely masked comics.

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