KINDS OF BALINESE DANCES ~ BALI TOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

KINDS OF BALINESE DANCES


Barong Dance

Based on its function in society Balinese dancing can be divided into two classes: the dances which play an important role in Hindu-Dharma religion, and the dances which are artistic creation to be enjoyed for their beauty. The first group is sacred or sacral in nature, while the second is secular.
The sacred dances can be subdivided into various groups such as : temple dances, ritual dances, Sanghyang dances, and Barong dances.

A. Temple Dances.
Temple dances are sacrificial dances which play a very important role in Hindu-Dharma ceremonies. They are performed for religious ceremonies held at fixed times during each year. As a rule they are held in the yard of the temple. To the group of the temple dances or sacrificial dances belong the Pendet Dance, Gabor dance, Rejang Dance, and oleg Dance.
1. Pendet
Pendet dance is a dance for women functioning as an offering to the Gods. According to Balinese tradition, Pendet dancers should be unmarried women because they bear holy offerings for the gods. The women dancing the Pendet and bearing the offering are called Mendet. The gamelan orchestra accompanying the Pendet dance is the gamelan pelegongan, gamelan semar pegulingan or gong kebyar. The Pendet Dance is a collective dance which can be performed by six, eight, or more dancers.
2. Gabor Dance
Gabor dance is a dance for women which is a variation of the pendet dance. Gabor dance is sacrificial dance performed by two women dancers who themselves are offerings,. The Gabor dancers fan themselves while dancing and the rhythm is more dynamic then that of the Pendet dance. The accompanying gamelan is similar to the gamelan of the Pendet dance.
3. Rejang Dance.
It is a collective women dance. It is a sacrificial dance in which the offering to the God are the dancers themselves. The rejang dancers must be girl who are still pure, often oven little girls six years of age. The dancers are led by a temple priest (pemangku) who dance foremost. Behind him is a row of Rejang dancers, holding a piece of thread which is held by the temple-priest and passed on backwards. Sometimes they buses fans, sometimes not. The rhythm of the Rejang Dance is very slow and the movements so simple that any girl can dance than. The dance is performed at day time in the temple. The accompanying gamelan is usually the gamelan selonding the accompanying gamelan is usually the gamelan selonding or gamelan gong gede.
4. Oleg Dance.
The Oleg dance is a temple dance for women, like the Gabor dance, it is a sacrificial dance is which the dancer herself is the offering for the gods.
5. Keris Dance.
The Keris is an ancient temple dance by men with the upper parts of their bodies bare. There are many variations and name of Keris Dance but it is usually called Keris dance or the Curiga Dance (Curiga = Keris of dagger). In temple ceremonies, the Keris dance comes after the Pendet dance, the Rejang dance, or the Gabor Dance. The Keris Dance is performed by men carrying drawn daggers. It is accompanied by the gamelan gong and mostly danced with the dancers in trance or unconscious of their action; while dancing, they stab their breasts with the daggers they hold in their hands.

B. Ritual Danced.
A very important ritual dance is the Baris Dance, which is also a patriotic dance. It is danced by men, the performed as a demonstrations to show of physical maturity. “Baris” derives it’s name from the word bebarisan, which literally means a line or file formation. It refers to the ancient Balinese soldiers who were used by raja-raja the Balinese Kings, to protect their Kingdom in times of disturbance.
The Baris Dance is usually a companied by the traditional Balinese musical orchestra, known as gamelan gong, which consist of about thirty to fifty musicians. Instruments commonly used include met allophone, gongs, flute, rebab (the Indonesia two stringed bowed lute), and double headed barrel-snapped drums (kendang) in what is essentially a percussion orchestra.
There are many kinds of Baris dances in Bali which are usually named according to the weapon used in the dance.
  
C. Sangnyang Dance.
The sangnyang dance is a trance-dance. The dancers in trance are manifest presences, and even voices, for the gods, sanghyang is performed as a rite of purification and exorcism only during times of trouble, such as widespread illness or unrest in the community. Two or three young girls enter into trance under the guidance of a priest with the assistance of contextual cues such as insertion smoke, chanted prayers, and special songs of invocation sung by a chorus. When the dancers have been thoroughly when the dancers have been thoroughly possessed, they are considered to have been entered by gods, who are thus literally made manifest. The girl are lifted to the shoulders of men who carry them about as they away and undulate, balancing themselves with out apparent effort above the surrounding crowd.
A girl who is to be a shangyang dancer must be wholly pure because a goddess will enter her body. Consequently, she must lead a life full of taboos and prohibitions. She may not swear, she may not steal not fight, and so on.
There are several varieties of the shangyang dance, among others the Shangyang Dedari, The Sanghyang Deling, the Sanghyang Jaran, and the Sanghyang Bumbung; the Shangyang dance still performed is the Sanghyang Dedari.

D. Barong Dance.
The Barong is a mythological being in Bali that takes the from of a four-legged wild animal protecting the Balinese people before the Hindu religion interned the island. Because of its function as protector, the Barong is generally said to be manifestation of good forces which will always fight the manifestation of evi forces, the who takes the from of a frightening she-devil.
According to Balinese folklore, the origin of Barong is as follows. The island of Nusa Penida, a small island Southeast of the island of Bali, is inhabited by evil beings or demons how continuously disturb the peaceful life of the Balinese. On this island lives huge terrifying demon called Gde Jero Mecaling (a giant with fangs). One Day Gde Jero Mecaling went to Bali accompanied by a great number of smaller demons. He stayed in Kuta, taking the form of the Barong. The little demons who accompanied him were then ordered to go inland to cause disorder and destroy the peaceful life of the Balinese people. The Balinese were panic-stricken as they faced these evil beings. However there was a priest ordered the Balinese people to make a false Barong and little demons to frighten the real Barong and the demons. His plan was a success, the real Barong and the demons were frightened and returned to the island of Nusa Penida. Since that time the people in various religions of Bali have made Barong, to be used as a mean of driving away evil being who come to disturb them.
The Barong dance has always been popular in Bali it is danced by two man, one man dancing the head and forelegs and the other playing the head logs and tail, except the Barong Landung that will be described later. The Barong has a mythological animal, has a great many variations. The head may be that of a lion, a tiger, a male wild-boar, an elephant, a cow, and a keket. A keket is regarded by the Balinese people as the king of the forest, and is also referred to by the name of Banaspati Raja.
The well-known Barongs in Bali are the Barong Keket, the Barong Kalekek, and Barong Landung. Given the name Banaspati Raja. Her followers are keris dancers who are always traying to kill Durga.

1. Barong Landung.
            The Barong Landung is a totally different form of dance in comparison with the other Barong dances in Bali. In the Barong Landung the two dances do not take the from of the wild animal, but of the two giant dolls, one a man and the other women. The men doll is called Jero Gde (big person) and the women-doll is called Jero Luh (famale Person). Each is danced by a man who is the doll. The Barong Landung performance is mainly held around the town of Denpasar, usually on Galungan days. Jero Gde has a black face and is frightening, while Jero Luh has a white or yellow and looks comical.

2. Calonarang Dance-Drama.
The Calonarang story is semi-historical, though in fact the name Calonarang does not exiat in history. The background of mthe story however, is a historical event, which took place in the period of King Erlangga from the Kingdom of Kahuripan (East Java in the beginning of the 11th century.
Calonarang is a widow from the village of Girah who has a beautiful daughter called Ratna Manggali. Though Ratna Menggali has a beautiful peace, no young man proposes to her because she is the daughter of Calonarang the witch. Her daughter fate makes Calonarang furious and she presents offerings to Durga in order to be given permission to destroy the kingdom of Kahuripan. The destruction and disorder caused by Calonarang and her followers are brought about by dancing at night. The following day there is an epidemic afflicting the inhabitants of the kingdom. King Erlangga, hearing of this, sends his troops to Calonarang to kill her, but they are destroyed by Calonarang by means of magical fire that comes out from her mouth, eyes, ears and nostrils. After this she even dances again with her pupils.
Since Calonarang is a very powerful which, Erlangga than aska the help of powerful priest called Mpu Baradah from Lemah Tulis. Mpu Baradah sends his son, Bahula, to find the secret of Calonarang magic power. In carrying out his duty, Bahula proposes to Ratna Menggali, and proposal is accepted to the satisfaction of Calonarang, because Bahula proved to be a handsome, noble and cultured man. While absorbed in love-making, Bahula asks his wife the secret of the wonderful power of his mother-in-law. Ratna Menggali tells him that the source of the mothers magic power is her holy book. Bahula asks to see it, and when Ratna Menggala gives it to him, he immediately takes it, and gives it to his father. Baradah, reading the book, discovers that the content of the book is really good, but is used by Calonarang for ill purposes. Knowing the source of Calonarang’s power, Baradah goes to meet her and convince her that her actions are wrong and blameworthy.
Calon arang is giving offerings in the Pura Dalem (the death temple), When she is told by her pupil that a priest named Mpu Baradah wants to see her. They meet and a heated debate takes place between powerful persons. Baradah says that Calonarang sins are to great because she has caused many deaths and can only be redeemed by the death of Calonarang herself. Calonarang becomes furious, and with her magic she shows her power by burning a banyan tree. Baradah asks her to bring the tree back to life but she can not. Baradah is then able to bring the tree back to life but she can not. Baradah is then able to bring the scorched banyan tree to life again by means of white magic. Calonarang surrenders after which Baradah shows her the way to heaven.
This Calonarang dance-drama is held at night. The stage is a yard surrounded by bananas-tree, with papaya-tree in the center to represent kepuh tree. In the owner of the area is a hut, on each side of which is an umbrella. A distinctive characteristic of the Calonarang dance-drama is that it is always combined with the Barong dance. The climax of the performance is the fight between Calonarang, in the form of she-devil called Rangda, and Barong and Kris dancers.

3. Kecak Dance.
The Kecak Dance or Cak dance is a part of the Sanghyang Dance. In the Shangyang there are a women’s chorus and a men’s chorus. The man chorus chants the words Cak ke-cak ke-cak ke-cak, ke-cak, in the rhythm, over and over again. For this reason they are called the kecak or cak.
In its further development, this men’s chorus separated it self from its earlier function consists only of the above chorus. The kecak dance consists of obout one hundred men wearing only a lord-cloth, the upper part of their bodies left bare. They farm rows of circles, in the middle of which is a coconout-pil-lamp. First they move their bodies rhythmically to the left and to the right, chanting the world cak ke-cak ke-cak ke-cak continuously in slow rhythm. Gradually the rhythm is speeded up and by turns the left their hands, trembling, into the air. The atmosphere created by this is accompanied by hissing sounds like those of monkeys. At fixed times half the circle of Kecak dancers falls backwards together.
The Kecak Dance is performed for dance-drama and the story presented is taken from the Ramayana epic. Among the stories presented are the abduction of Sinta and fight between Sugriwa and Subali, but sometimes also the whole story from the abduction of Sinta to the death of Rahwana. In the dance-drama the main characters dance in the usual dance position while the kecak dancers sit in a circle. The main characters come from outside the circle. If the Kecak Dance is used to present the Ramayana dance-drama, the Kecak dancers play Rama’s troops of apes, Rahwana’s troops of giants, Indrajit’s magic arrow, and so on.
Kecak is a unique balinese dance in which the artist are accompanied by a choir of a hundred men rather than the traditional gamelan orchestra. Its origin can be traced to an ancient dance ritual called sanghyang  (or Trance dance)
During the performance , the dancers enter a trance-like state which enables them to communicate with deities or ancestors who express their wishes through the dancers.
The Indian epic, The Ramayana, is included in the kechak. Here is a brief synopsis of the story behind the dance you are about to see performed by some of bali’s most talented and creative dancesr.
Prince Rama, heir to the throne of Ayodya, was exiled from the kingdom ruled by his father Dasarata following an evil trick being played on the young prince. Accompanied by his wife Sita and his younger brother Laksamana, the trio entered the dandaka forest.
While i8n the forest, the trio fell prey to the demon king Rahwana who lusted after the beautiful Sita. Using Magical powers, rahwana prime minister, Marica set about laying a trap to steal Sita away from her husband.
Marica turned himself into a golden deer and soon lured rama and rtahwana away fro Sita. While her husband and brother in-law were distracted by the beauty of the deer Rahwana seized the opportunity to kidnap Sita taking the distressed princess to his palace called Alengka.
When they realized the deception Rama and Laksamana set up a plan to rescue his beloved Sita from the clutches of evil demon king.
Helped by a huge army monkeys led by the Monkey King, Sugriwa a fierce battole raged between the monkeys and Rahwana’s army led by his son, Meganada, who eventually lost the contest.
Sita was happily reunited with her husband, Rama and brother-in-law laksamana.
Act 1.
Rama , Sita and the golden deer
Rama, Sita and laksamana enter the stage fo9llowed by a golden deer whose beauty attracts Sita. She asks her husband to catct the deer and Rama dutifully leaves asking Laksamana to protect Sita in his absence. Soon a cry for help is heard and Sita believing it to be that o9f her husband sends laksamana to rescue him
Laksamana refuses to at first, as he fears it could be a trap but when accused by Sita of not wanting to rescue his brother so that he (laksamana) can marry her, laksamana understandably angry leaves the scene to reach Rama.
Act 2   
Sita and the Demon King rahwana
The demon king appears, kidnaps Sita and takes her to his palace, Alengka.
Act 3.
Sita, Trijata and Hanoman
Sita bemoans her misfortune to Rahwana’s niece, Trijata, in thye pakace grounds Hanoman a white monkey, appears and tells the distraught Sita that he is rama’s envoy as she shows her rama’s ring. Sita gives hanoman her hairpin to take back to her husband with and angry message to rescue her
Act 4
Rama, meganada and garuda
This is the battle scene in which rama faces the demon king’s son. Meganada who aims at Rama with a magic arrow. The arrow turns into a dragon in fight who later trusses Rama up in rapes. In absolute desperation, rama calls his ally the garuda for help. The Garuda appears and fress  Rama from the clutches of the dragon.
Act 5.
Rama, Sugriwa and Meganada
The king of the monkeys, Sugriwa apperas and does battle with Meganada who is defeated, leaving rama and his family to return home.

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