Pendet: A Beautiful Welcoming Dance

Dance has always been a part of many sacred ceremonies and traditional rituals in the island. Some dances are considered sacred as they are offered to the Gods or the deities, while others are simply performed for the audience. Pendet dance is a simple welcoming dance choreographed to welcome the audience. The dance is one

Jegog Bamboo

Bamboo is one commodity that plays an important role in balinese life, from being used to build a house, weaved into a roof or basket, used as the pole to make penjor – a special decoration erected in front of the house during galungan and kuningan holy celebrations – and also transformed into a set

The Closing

Ngusaba Sambah may the biggest series of rite of passage ceremonies held by the community of Tenganan Dauh Tukad Village in the Karangasem Regency of East Bali. The month-long event, which consists of several unique ceremonies, including banana and pandan wars, is organised solely by the village members. These sacred ceremonies are meant to mark the

An Evening at Pura Dalem Ubud

After finishing a photo shoot on the outskirts of Ubud one afternoon, I decided to pay a visit to the heart of the town. It was dark when I arrived and I was lacking in ideas for what to do apart from dinner when a boy approached me selling tickets to dance performances. Out of

Cendrawasih : Beauty of a bird of Paradise

I’ve watched the Cendrawasih dance several times now. Even though each performance features different dancers on a different stage, it is always captivating. The Cendrawasih dance is neither classical nor sacred in Bali; rather it is a relatively new dance with choreography inspired by classical dance routines. The last time I watched this dance was

Bangli Beckons

Bangli regency, which is located right in the centre of Bali, boasts Lake Batur and the volcanic Mount Batur among its attractions. However Bangli has much more to offer visitors. Penglipuran is a picturesque little village which is situated only a few kilometres from the regency’s capital. The name of the village is derived from two

Ngelawang: The Door-to-Door Ceremony

Galungan and Kuningan, the two big holy days of the Balinese Hindus, are celebrated in a very special way. Galungan always takes place on the Wednesday the week before Kuningan. Various processions, such as Penampahan which is characterized by women preparing offerings and men decorating temples, are held before Galungan. Meanwhile Kuningan is always on

The Ballet of Abimanyu

With the arrival of Hinduism to the Indonesian archipelago came the great epics from the India Sub-continent, which also served as a vehicle to spread the Hindu teachings. The epics, which have been passed down from generation to generation, have influenced the Hindu moral standards about good and bad as well as giving an understanding

A Dance Celebrating Life in Ubud

The weather in Ubud was cool, with a soft breeze flowing through the town, it was perfect weather for a night in the enchanting Ubud Palace. I sat quietly in the courtyard, surrounded by a dozen or so people; all of us longing for the next performance – we had already watched two stunning fable

Kebyar Terompong

In 1925, I Mario, a legendary dancer from Tabanan, created a jaw-dropping dance named Kebyar Duduk. Most of the routines are performed while the dancers squat close to the ground – a difficult position indeed. To make things more difficult, each routine is danced in a blink of an eye! A male dancer, elegantly dressed

Legong Trance

It was 6 pm when two men started arranging the red plastic chairs at the front yard of PuriSarenUbud, a palace owned by the Ubud royal family. Members of the royal family still live here, within theinner compound, but allow the community to use the front patio for cultural performances in the evening. The Legong

Jauk Keras

At first glance, one may think that all the Balinese mask dances look the same, but in fact they each have their unique qualities. In Bali, there are perhaps more than a dozen variations of mask dances. These mask dances are one of the many cultural performances that are passed down from generation to generation.

Tari Topeng (Mask Dance)

The performing arts in Bali were once performed solely as offerings to the Gods and deities. Nowadays, some dances are used to entertain devotees during religious events in the temple and some are performed to project social and spiritual messages to audiences. Tari Topeng (Mask Dance) is one of those which uses acting as a

Now Bali