Explore the Lembongan Island to complete your holiday in Bali
|Home| About Us| Term & Condition| Contact Us|
Balinese Dances History
After the Majapahit warriors subdued Bali in the 14th century, Javanese mini-principalities and courts soon appeared everywhere, creating that unique blend of court and peasant culture, which is Bali - highly sophisticated, dynamic and lively. The accompanying narrative for dance and drama is to a large extent based on court stories from pre-Majapahit Java. Even the Indian epics, another favorite of the stage, especially the wayang, use Javanese, complete with long quotes from the ancient Javanese Kakawin poetry So Javanese culture, which disappeared from Java following Islamization in the l6th century, still survived in Bali in a "Balinese form", which became classical Balinese culture.
However, colonization brought about the fall of classical Bali. With the rural courts defeated and with new lords of the land, the centre of creativity shifted to village associations, and to the development of tourism. The 30's and 50's were particularly fertile decades; while the old narrative led theater survived, lively solo dances appeared everywhere, accompanied by a new, dynamic kind of music called gong kebyar. This trend continued in the 60's and 70's with the creation of colossal sendratari ballets, representing ancient Indian and Javanese stories adapted to the needs of modern audiences.
Dance & Religion
As well as their use in religious ceremonies, dance and drama also have a strong religious content. It is often said that drama is the preferred medium through which the Balinese cultural tradition is transmitted. The episodes performed are usually related to the rites taking place; during a wedding one performs a wedding story; at a death ritual there is a visit to "hell" by the heroes. Clowns (penasar) comment in Balinese, peppering their jokes with religious and moral comments on stories whose narratives use Kawi (Old-Javanese).
The typical posture in Balinese dance has the legs half bent, the torso shifted to one side with the elbow heightened and then lowered in a gesture that displays the suppleness of the hands and fingers. The torso is shifted in symmetry with the arms. If the arms are to the right, the shifting is to the left, and vice-versa.
The Dances of Bali
Tambulilingan or bumblebees Dance.
Barong and Kris Dance
Baris the warrior dances know as the Baris is a male equivalent of the Legong in which feminist and grace gives way to the energetic, warlike, martial spirit. A solo dance, the Baris dancer has to convey the thoughts and emotions of a warrior preparing for action and them meeting an enemy in battle. The dancer has to show his changing moods not only thought his dancing, but also through facial expression. Chivalry, pride, anger, prowess and finally some regret (well war is hell, even in Bali ) all have to be there. It’s said that the Baris is one of the most complex of the Balinese dances requiring a dancer of great energy, skill and ability. Familiar tale in Bali but the dance has been a relatively recent addition to the Balinese repertoire. It tells much the same story of Rama and Sita as told in the Kecak Dance but without the monkey ensemble and with a normal gamelan orchestra accompaniment. It’s also embellished with many improvisations and comic additions. Rawana may be played as a classic bad guy, the monkey god Hanuman can be a comic clown, and camera-wielding tourists amongst the spectators may come in for some imitative ribbing.