The Dances of Bali

Belibis Dance

The Dances of Bali | Jan 30, 2014

As the lights on the stage brighten, five beautiful dancers gracefully enter, their white wings spread. Their golden headdresses are radiant and the gorgeous costumes enhance the whole performance. On tiptoes, the dancers imitate flying, gently dipping and bending with their wings spread. At other points, their gestures depict playful encounters and picking at food […]

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Vibrating Sounds of Jegog

The Dances of Bali | Jan 02, 2014

One Friday night, my husband and I ventured out to Ubud. Rather than stopping in the centre, we followed Jalan Suweta – the street next to Ubud Palace – further out to the country side. It was 7:15pm when we arrived in Bentuyung Village, and the Jegog performance had already started. I have wanted to […]

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Okokan, From Rice Field to Stage

The Dances of Bali | Nov 29, 2013

During the opening of Bali Art Festival a few years ago, an orchestra group from Kerambitan Village in Tabanan Regency gave an outstanding performance with their authentic and unique musical instruments. I wondered what kind of instruments they were playing, especially as I could barely hear when the MC was explaining, being right in the […]

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Kidang Kencana

The Dances of Bali | Oct 28, 2013

One fine day, a friend challenged me to organize some unique entertainment for an event. His boss wanted something authentically Balinese, but nothing that could easily be found on a commercial stage. So, there I was, thinking and searching for Balinese classical dances that are rarely seen on stages arranged for mass tourism. Along the […]

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Cendrawasih Dance

The Dances of Bali | Sep 28, 2013

In 1988, N.L.N Swasthi Wijaya Bandem created a dance inspired by the beauty of a bird – the Cendrawasih. The bird, which originates from Papua, holds deep significance and purpose in Balinese culture.   A priest on the way to a cremation ceremony (ngaben) will carry a stick with a stuffed Cendrawasih bird perched on […]

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The Dances of Bali | Aug 28, 2013

The musicians of Bali’s traditional orchestra, Gamelan Gong Kebyar, start playing softly, while at the same time the high-pitched voices of a female choir singing a Balinese song reaches the audience from behind the stage. The female choir, who also dance throughout the performance, is known as Janger, and the male choir, called Kecak, accompanies […]

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The Dances of Bali | Jul 25, 2013

Loud and dynamic are probably the best words to describe the Gamelan Beleganjur sound. It comprises of one great gong, a secondary gong, four pairs of mini cymbals, two differently tuned traditional drums, and a small hand-held gong called kempul. The number of people in the orchestra varies depending on the how many people are […]

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Sanghyang Jaran

The Dances of Bali | Jun 28, 2013

Famous for its preserved cultural life, which has strong attachments to religious beliefs, Bali’s sacred dances are only performed at temples during a ceremony. The sacred dances not only showcase the beauty of Balinese cultural performances, but also exhibit a firm belief of the presence of spirits and the supernatural world. Long before the modern […]

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Telek Dance

The Dances of Bali | May 31, 2013

Friday evening: While most of the Ubud’s visitors are indulging in its thriving culinary scene, enjoying light-hearted chat in one of the many cafes, or strolling the pretty streets of Ubud, partaking in a little window shopping, some visitors thirsting for culture might fill the seats arranged inside the Ubud Palace compound.  There are no […]

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Sanghyang Dedari

The Dances of Bali | Apr 29, 2013

As night falls and a dark sky envelopes sparkling Ubud, another life is just about to begin. At one corner of Jalan Hanuman in Ubud sits Pura Penataran Kloncing temple amidst a number shops and restaurants. The front yard of the temple is utilized as a stage for cultural performing arts but this activity doesn’t […]

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