Friday, May 24, 2013

Barong and Keris Dance - Batubulan, Bali, Indonesia

Barong enters the courtyard prancing to the rhythm of the gamelan ensemble
A tour to Bali isn't complete without attending the many cultural performance around the island. The Barong and Keris dance is one of the performance we attended in Batubulan. Although, it is hard to understand the whole epic, still it is worth watching the colorful play and listening to the smooth gamelan music throughout the show. 

The traditional gamelan musicians accompanying the performance

The dance is about a battle between the good and evil. Interestingly, the whole dance-drama brought together the element of religion, history and mythology into play which they believe that the reality of the world is all about good and bad.  

It was an enjoyable show to watch but not for a faint heart as the characters played are very strong and at some point the music and the dance can  increase the heart beat.  We took the seats in the first row and at times the sound of the Barong and Rangada thumping on the grounds with bells ringing furiously took us by surprise. 

On the whole, I think this is a powerful dance that draws our eyes and sight to their movement.  There're actually other places where the same dance is on show but the one in Batubulan is said to be the best in the island.  This is definitely a must-see when you are in Bali. The ticket is 100,000 Rupiah.

The servants of Dewi Kunti 
Eyes movement is the key element of the Bali dancing
Servants of Dewi Kunti clad in colorful costumes
Sadewa, the son of Dewi Kunti  - a female acting the role of a male
Sadewa with the servants
In anger
A playact to entertain the audience
Sadewa is going to fight the Barong
The evil spirit, Rangada, in wrath
The Barong men tries to kill Rangada but failed and they killed themselves
They died
Some of the Barong followers were in trance

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