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Types of Balinese Dance | 15 Balinese Artistic Dances

Balinese Kecak dance

Bali is famous for its culture and natural beauty, here are several types of Balinese dance, let's see in full below!

Types of Balinese Dance – The Island of the Gods has a charm that leaves tourists speechless. Apart from that, the culture is attractive to tourists. Traditional Balinese Dance is one of the interesting tourist destinations among the many Balinese cultures.

This type of Balinese dance has even been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique and philosophically rich movements. In traditional activities, religious rituals and performing arts, dance performances are usually performed in temples or cultural centers.

Types of Balinese Dance

1. Semirang Panji Dance

To depict the story of Putri Galuh Candrakirana, the dancers will use Kawi language in their dialogue. During her wanderings, the princess disguised herself as Raden Panji to cheer herself up after her partner fell ill and suddenly disappeared.

The expression shown is big eyes and a firm but enthusiastic smile. This dance has a long background.

2. Kecak Dance

Almost every tourist who has visited Bali will remember the Kecak Dance. This legendary dance depicts the story of the Ramayana, namely how the army of monkeys helped Rama in his struggle against Ravana.

Balinese Kecak dance
type of Balinese dance

The majority of dancers are men, with dozens of people. The dancers will form a circle and continuously shout "Cak-cak-cak" while raising both hands.

3. Barong Dance

When watching a Barong dance performance, you will see a character named "Bahruang" or "Bear". According to mythology, semi-lions or bears have supernatural powers and can protect humanity.

Barong Elephant Bali

Barong elephant, barong asu, and tiger are other examples of barong. This dance is usually performed by two people, one acting as the head and the other controlling the movements of the tail.

4. Pendet Dance

Pendet dance is a religious dance that is performed in the temple yard or Pelinggih, where Bhatara and Bhatari are buried in the palace. This dance, which aims to welcome God from heaven, displays firm facial expressions and intense or glaring eye movements.

The dancer is a woman dressed in traditional clothing who carries a bokor or canang sari filled with flowers. The dancers will wear traditional Balinese clothing, starting from prada belts, anteng (cerik), and songket kemben.

5. Margapati Dance

Margapati dance is the next most popular type of Balinese dance. Margapati dance, like Panji. The Semirang Dance has a story and purpose behind its beautiful dance movements. In contrast to the Panji Semirang dance which tells the story of the adventures of a princess, the Margapati dance has a sad meaning.

This is because the Margapati dance tells the story of death. Margapati dance is a dance that is interpreted as leading to death. The story told by a female dancer in this Balinese dance is equipped with agile movements that remind us of a man who is preparing to attack or ambush something.

6. Wirayuda Dance

Wirayuda Dance is the next type of Balinese dance. This dance depicts the events of World War II. The number of dancers is two to four pairs, reflecting the battle displayed in the Wirayuda dance.

Apart from that, to better depict the battle, the dancers are equipped with spears as dance accessories. Apart from depicting conflict, the spear weapon also reflects the Balinese Dwipa Knights.

7. Leaning Dance

Not just telling fairy tales, but there is a belief behind the Condong Dance which is widely adhered to by Balinese people. This concept is based on the dream of a supposedly sick Prince from Sukawati.

In this dream, a Prince met two beautiful girls who were dancing. In the dream, two women started dancing, and their movements looked beautiful and graceful, making the Prince interested when he saw the attractiveness of the two dancers.

When the Prince recovered from his illness, this type of Balinese dance was taught to women and is still preserved to this day.

8. Janger Dance

Next is the Janger Dance, which has been around since 1930 and is still a popular type of Balinese dance today. The Janger dance, performed by a pair of male and female dancers totaling 10 to 16 pairs, depicts the story of the social interaction of young people in Bali.

The dancers don't just dance, but sing songs with the same title, then answer each other.

9. Durga Mahisasura Mardini Dance

The Durga Mahisasura Mardini dance is a traditional Balinese dance inspired by Durga Mahisasura Mardini which was written on the Siwagama palm leaf. The traditional holy book Siwagama tells of an incident where the gods and goddesses in heaven were exhausted from fighting against a huge Rakta.

This dance is performed by ten male and female dancers in the Durga Mahisasura Mardini dance. Some dancers are considered to represent the people, the giant.

Meanwhile, one of the dancers will play Durga, who is described as a powerful goddess who holds the sacred weapon Nawa Sanga.

10. Grouse Dance

Next, which is no less interesting, is Belibis Dance, which is a type of Balinese dance created in 1984 by NLN Swasthi Wijaya Bandem and I Nyoman Windha. Belibis Dance Inspired by the story of Angling Dharma.

Angling Dharma King met a giant princess who ate humans during a fight. Then, because he was afraid that the giant would find out about his existence, Angling Dharma cursed the giant's daughter into becoming a grouse.

The grouse dance is performed in groups to convey the story. The grouse dance movements look flexible enough to resemble a grouse in flight. For example, the movements of the head and neck, hands and feet, and eyes of the grouse dancer.

11. Legong Dance

As the name suggests, the Legong dance is accompanied by gamelan musical instruments. The word "leg" refers to flexible dance movements, and "gong" refers to gamelan. Meanwhile Gamelan Semar Pagulingan is the name of the gamelan used to accompany the Legong dance.

Three experienced dancers carrying fans perform this dance. There are various forms of Legong dance, including Legong Jobog, Legong Legod Bawa, Legong Keraton, and Legong Kuntul.

12. Line Dance

This type of Balinese dance, as the name suggests, is a formation of dancers who line up to perform rituals before the warriors leave for war. This dance is mainly performed by men to symbolize the courage of the Balinese knights who fought to protect the King.

It is distinguished by body movements that are equivalent to the ears. As a sign of the toughness of Balinese Soldiers, the dancers will move their bodies like fighting heroes. Every boy will be taught this dance before they reach adulthood.

13. Puspanjali Dance

The Puspanjali dance is a flower-shaped dance that welcomes and respects the host. The name Puspanjali comes from the Sanskrit words “puspa” (flower) and “anjali” (respect).

Usually, this dance is performed by 5 to 7 dancers. There were so many visitors watching, every dancer looked cheerful. The beats of the Puspanjali dance move from slow to fast and back again, depending on the musical accompaniment.

14. Trunajaya Dance

Trunajaya dance is a type of Balinese dance from the Buleleng area. Because it represents the enthusiasm of young men who want to attract the hearts of women, this dance contains energetic movements. Trunajaya comes from the term teruna which means "young".

The dancers are accompanied by kebyar gongs which are classified into long time and short time. This dance depicts male virility with firm eye expressions and movements.

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15. Rejang Dance

On Hindu holidays, the rejang dance is often performed in the temple yard, right in front of the Pelinggih. The female dancers will en masse display the symbol of Widyadari (Angel) who came down to earth to guide Bhatara.

This dance is performed at the Purification ceremony for the Nyepi holiday. Rejang Renteng literally means "old or old", and refers to elders or stakeholders (holy people).

If you want to see Balinese dance culture directly, there are lots of performances that you can find directly on the Island of the Gods, add your bucket list now!


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