Last Updated: June 14th, 2018
Well-known for its rice paddies, breathtaking temples, and beautiful sunsets, Bali offers much more than its amazing landscapes. Two of the island-destination’s traditional dances is regularly featured in organized group tours–and for good reason. Their brightly hued costumes, music, traditional outfits, and their interaction with the audience makes it a truly unique experience.
1. BARONG AND KRIS DANCE
Native to Balinese culture, the famous Barong and Kris dance, as with other traditional Balinese dances is associated with spirituality and is usually performed during ritual ceremonies. Showcasing the battle between good and evil, the dance features Barong, lion-like creature of good spirit battling Rangda, a demon queen in Balinese mythology.
In the first scene of the traditional dance, it features Barong in a peaceful environment until the next scene which shows the arrival of Rangda. Rangda, which later leads an army of witches against the forces of good. The dance later ends with a final battle between Barong and Rangda and showcases how evil is finally defeated.
2. KECAK FIRE DANCE
Developed in the 1930s, Kecak is a form of Balinese dance and musical drama that features the Ramayana monkey chant. It traces its roots Sanghyang, a sacred Balinese dance and performed only during religious events.
The fire dance is usually performed at sunset in two of Bali’s famous temples–Pura Tanah Lot and Pura Uluwatu. It is also performed in other special occasions and for cultural and entertainment display.
Lasting for around an hour, the dance showcases how Hanuman and Prince Rama fight the evil King Rahwana (Ravana). The chanters, which will leave you in awe of their non-stop chak-chak-chak chant adjust to the mood of the musical drama and sets the mood of the entire performance. The dance finally ends with the battle between Rama and Ravana or after the burning of Hanuman by one of Ravana’s servants.
The Manila Project
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