The Dances of Bali

Manik Jiwa Dance

Culture | Sep 09, 2019

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 […]

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Gong Kebyar: Beautiful, Fast, Evolving

Culture | Sep 04, 2019

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 […]

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Wayang Wong: The Dance of the Human Puppets

Culture | Jul 03, 2019

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 […]

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The Gandrung Dance: A Java-Bali Cultural Connection

Culture | Jun 12, 2019

When people hear of the Gandrung dance, their first thought are often of Banyuwangi, a coastal town on  the eastern tip of East Java. It is the closest town across the Bali Strait when leaving from Gilimanuk, Bali’s most western point. Whilst on the surface Javanese and Balinese cultures look different, deep down many similarities […]

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The Sacred Rituals Behind the Barong Dance

Culture | May 19, 2019

The Barong, a character symbolising ‘good’ in Balinese Hindu belief, and therefore a key figure found in certain Balinese dances. The Barong is the central character of the widely watched Barong Dance. There are many types of Barong, all of which will mimic 4-legged animals, such as a lion, pig or cow. As a holy […]

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Cultural Nights at the Ubud Palace

Culture | Mar 22, 2019

Puri Saren Ubud, popularly known as the Ubud Palace, is the witness of all changes that has been through by this artistic village, which is perhaps more suitably called a vibrant town now.  Situated at the heart of Ubud, the palace is the place for cultural connoisseurs. The beautiful compound that was built in the […]

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Panji Semirang and the Golden Doll

Culture | Feb 20, 2019

The Majapahit, between the years 1293 to circa 1500, was once a great empire in South East Asia. It’s centre was in East Java and in fact it was this empire where the idea of ‘Nusantara’, or a great archipelagic nation, was born. The reach of Majapahit stretched as far as Burma, all the way […]

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The Spiritual Sounds of the Gamelan

Culture | Jan 01, 2019

By now you might have overdoses on the dynamic clanks and clonks of the gamelan, Bali’s traditional orchestra comprised of several musical instruments. This is particularly the case on “good dates”, or auspicious days, where religious rites take place around the island and the sound of the gamelan echo all around.  Whilst the musical range […]

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2000 Ladies Perform Tenun Dance on Petitenget Beach

The Dances of Bali | Dec 12, 2018

If this is your first time visiting Bali, you may have gathered some information of several interesting dances to see during your stay. Two of the most famous ones are Legong and Kecak. However, there are many traditional dances in this island. Some are considered sacred and only performed in temples during religious rituals, while […]

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Buto Ijo and the Legend of Petitenget

The Dances of Bali | Nov 18, 2018

On the 14th of September, when the big yellow sun was slowly crawling down the western sky, the opening of Petitenget Festival was held at Petitenget Beach. The festival, involving almost all member of the community of Kerobokan Village, was the first festival conducted in the area. Hundreds of people filled the beach from noon […]

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