Legong Jobog – Balinese Tale of Subali & Sugriwa

Legong etymology means a beautiful series of body movements, ordance, that is accompanied by agong, Balinese traditional music instrument. There are various kinds of legong dances, one of them is the Legong Jobog. The difference between the legong dances is not only the story that the dance narrates, but also the routines involved. The gamelan

Kartika D. Suardana

The Ideology of Balinese Masks

For the Balinese, masks have a higher value than just the representation of character in dance or for decoration. It serves as protection, as a sacred object in ceremonies and a medium for the worshipped gods to give their blessings. Since the development of mass tourism in Bali, market demand for cheap souvenirs has increased.

Kecak, Bali’s Fire Dance

Afternoons are always a good time to visit Uluwatu, the southern tip of the island. Not only to admire the lovely sunset from the top of the cliff but also to watch the famous Kecak Dance Performance, also known as the Bali Fire dance, which overlooks Uluwatu Temple. But what is the Kecak, and what’s

The Kekebyaran Purancak Dance of West Bali

The sea sparkles gold against a red and orange sky when the sun sets on Perancak Village, Jembrana Regency West Bali. The scene is likely to have inspired many artists, taken aback by its vibrance. Along the beach, the silhouette of dozens of sailing fishing boats dance along the horizon. As the sky darkens, the

Sandya Gita Kotamaning Bayu

A loud cheer erupted as the master of ceremony completed his introduction for the next performance. It was an exciting evening at the Bali Art Festival, as the dance troupe of Badung regency was in a final, head-to-head battle with the representatives of Jembrana regency. A senior lady sat next to me, complementing the previous

The Philosophy of the Barong Dance

The Balinese believe that we were born with suka duka lara pati, which means that in life we go through happiness and sadness, and at the end death is absolute. This duality of life is like two sides of a coin, they are inseparable. There is also a strong belief that light will eventually come

Prana Bhawa : A Dance for the Energy of Life

The Balinese have mesmerised thousands with their performing arts. In an age of modernisation and globalisation, where tradition is losing its appeal among the youth, the Balinese continue to find celebration in their heritage arts and culture. Where this is still seen is in Balinese dance and gamelan (traditional orchestra), which are central components of

Sandya Gita : A Dance for Nirartha the Travelling Sage

Thousands of eyes peered down onto the stage. The audience’s applause thundered as a choir group made their entrance. As their voices rose up, a cheer broke out. The troop performing were Kerta Mangeswari Jaya Pasti, the ambassadors of Jembrana regency, a municipality in west Bali, and clearly very popular. This particular performance took place

Byungbong: The Women’s Harvest Dance

Vast areas of paddy fields welcome travellers to Jembrana, Bali’s most western regency. The views are spectacular when passing through the border that separates Tabanan and Jembrana regencies, where the green farms expand out into a blue, ocean backdrop. When it’s time for harvest, the fields turn gold, shining under the Bali sun. Whilst most

Manik Jiwa Dance

The dancers arrived at the stage just like a troop of warriors. Their feet pacing in perfect unison. They were dressed beautifully. Their costume is a modification of that found in the Baris soldier dance, a common traditional dance performed by male dancers. The costume shouts dominance with its bright red and gold, sparkling under

Gong Kebyar: Beautiful, Fast, Evolving

Kebyar means fast, the name Gong Kebyar is given to this genre of music because of its progressive rhythm and rapid tempo. It is one of several genres in the Balinese traditional music scene. Colin McPhee, in his book Music in Bali, wrote that according to his interview with A A Gde Gusti Jelantik, the

Wayang Wong: The Dance of the Human Puppets

In Bali, tradition is cherished by the local community. Music, dance, carving, painting – all were once considered ways of paying homage to God, to the spirits of ancestors and to Mother Nature. These activities now considered ‘art’ were once holy acts, locally known as ngayah.  In the year 1478AD, the fall of the Majapahit

Rejang dance in Bali

The Rejang Dance and its Great Hat Parade

One of Bali’s most sacred and ancient dances is the beautiful stately Rejang. Traditionally the dance is performed by village virgins and is performed within the inner sanctums of the temple grounds, re-enacting one of Bali’s great legendary myths of Dewarta Nawasangha about heavenly nymphs and a god’s water supply. And one of the most

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