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Bali Dance | Traditional Dance of Indonesia

Bali Dance or Balinese Dance is a traditional dance of the people of Bali, Indonesia. This dance has a special and unique place in the daily life of the people here. These people celebrate the events of personal life like births, marriages, as well as religious festivals in temples, village fairs, fairs, etc., which are celebrated all night long with these dances.

History of Bali dance

History of Bali dance

According to popular legend, although the origin of Bali dance is related to the deity Indra, the influence of Hindu culture on Bali dance style is less visible. On the contrary, experts agree that these dances may have originated from primitive rituals.

The dancers who take part in these folk dances are mostly from the peasantry, although they are not trained and professional dancers, but their dancing skills are admirable. Their dances are very passionate.

The range of Bali dance subjects is amazing. From these dances, stories of gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines in Ramayana, Mahabharata and other epics are performed. In these dance dramas, instead of Hindu apsaras, the hero ‘Dedori’ (Balinese deity) dances with Arjuna.

Types of Bali dance

Types of Bali dance

1. Legong

It is a popular and attractive dance form that has been around for centuries. The two girls dance in golden glitter, wearing crowns adorned with flowers and holding fans in their hands. It is a mute and fast moving dance. While this dance is going on, a dalang (narrator) is commenting on every invention of the dance. This dance requires a lot of practice.

‘Djoged’ is a modern invention of leggings. In it, a girl dances in leggang style and young boys from the audience come to the dance floor and participate in it. The legang dance, performed when the dancer is in a trance, is called ‘Sang Bang’.

2. Djanger

In this popular dance form, two rows of boys sit face to face and girls complete the remaining two rows of squares. The lines of the song are sung one after the other in a group tone and gesture from the seat. The actual dance takes place inside the square. The one who initiates it is called ‘Dag’.

3. Sanghyang

In this dance, the girls dance in a state of ecstasy. At that time, it is believed that superhuman powers are transmitted between them.

4. Ketzak

A large number of male dancers take part in this monkey dance. The stories in Ramayana are the subject of this dance.

Characteristic of different ways of dancing

Characteristic of different ways of dancing

Apart from these, many other dance forms can be seen in the Bali region. Among them, in the dance drama ‘Gabor’, eight young girls dance with beautiful angles. ‘Penchak’ is a flawed dance drama in which the dance of self-defense is seen. But the original form of this dance has changed drastically.

‘Kebiar’ is a traditional but modern dance form. Although its movements are similar to leggings, it is more masculine. Many of his movements are done while sitting.

Mask dances are also famous in the island of Bali. Personalized wooden masks bring a kind of liveliness to those roles. A yellow mask for an aristocratic person, red color for a ragged face as well as big battered eyes to show greed etc. The signs are strictly observed.

In the dance genre ‘Topeng’, only two or three characters play different roles using different masks. The subjects for these dances are taken from the political history or legends of Bali. Films are also popular in Bali and may have come from Java.

‘Ardaja’ is a form of romantic music and its themes are drawn from the wonderful historical tradition of Bali. In it, beautiful princesses and princes become attached to each other and sing and dance. A salient feature of Bali dances is their unbroken variability. So no single dance form seems to be stable.

Forms of old dances change into blackness or new dance forms are formed. Sometimes men dance in female roles while women dance in male roles. This variety and abundance of Bali dances is remarkable.

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