Different Types of Balinese Dance

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Published on August 14, 2018 | Bali Culture, Bali Style, Culture, Travel

Balinese dances are performed all over the island. Some of the more popular Balinese dance forms include the Barong, Kecak and Legong Dance. Whichever dance type, all Balinese dances are a sight to behold. Here are a few that you mustn’t miss the next time you’re in Bali.

Barong Dance
(source : http://helixwahyudipra.blogspot.com)

Barong Dance

Barong Dance is one of the ancient Balinese Dance forms. Traditionally, the Barong is seen as a village protector and symbolic of the fight between good and evil. The Barong’s fanged mask and long mane make for a great theatrical display as he stands opposite Rangda the witch, the spirit of darkness. This is a very popular dance with tourists as it’s the Balinese version of the Chinese Lion Dance.

Legong Dance

This captivating dance tells a story of the princess Rangkesari who was lost in the woods and then captured by a King who locked her in a house of stone. Her brother, Prince Daha, learned of her captivity and threatened war unless she was set free.

Kecak Dance
(source : Uluwatu Kecak Dance)

Kecak Dance

The best place to watch the Kecak is in Uluwatu. The combination of bare-breasted men chanting the “cak-cak-cak”, the dancers’ magnetic movements, the costumes, fire and the magical sunset on the backdrop of Uluwatu’s soaring cliffs add to the overall thrilling experience.

Topeng Dance

This dance often takes place during ceremonies and rituals in temples across the island. The dancer wears a very life-like mask, carved with intricate details for an almost hypnotic experience. It is a very sacred dance for the Balinese, so viewers are advised to behave respectfully throughout. Check our tips on how to dress properly while visiting Balinese Temple / Event.


Shadow Puppets

Not exactly a dance per se, but a fascinating narrative using puppets cut out of leather and controlled by long rods. The story is told by the puppet master who projects the shadow of his puppets onto a white screen as he narrates from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

Sanghyang Dance

There are many different forms to this dance, which is also known as the Fire Dance. The whole purpose of this dance is to drive out evil spirits from the surrounding vicinity.

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