The Dances of Bali

The Kekebyaran Purancak Dance of West Bali

Culture | Mar 20, 2020

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 […]

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Sandya Gita Kotamaning Bayu

Culture | Feb 17, 2020

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 […]

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The Philosophy of the Barong Dance

Culture | Jan 23, 2020

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 […]

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Prana Bhawa : A Dance for the Energy of Life

Culture | Dec 24, 2019

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 […]

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Sandya Gita : A Dance for Nirartha the Travelling Sage

Culture | Nov 21, 2019

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 […]

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Byungbong: The Women’s Harvest Dance

Culture | Oct 20, 2019

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 […]

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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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