Legong Dance of Bali, Indonesia

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

For my last night in Bali and before flying to Malaysia, we went on some Balinese traditional dance show performed by Sadha Budaya Troupe in Ubud Palace. Ubud Palace is located near the Ubud Market where they sell cheap and great souvenir finds. It`s like Chinatown in Singapore or Ladies Market in Hongkong. 

Before having dinner, we decided to first feed our eyes with some beautiful hand and body moves from the dancers. This one is called the Legong Dance. We payed for 80,000IDR for it. Inside, almost all of the audience were foreigners with their cameras, iPhones and smartphones to capture the beauty of the show. Me, too, brought my camera for the same reason.
Every performance is lead by a Kebyar Ding instrumental that is use as an introduction music to express the dynamic of Balinese Gamelan music. They are using agongs as their instrument. The instrumental music will continue along the show while the dancers are performing.

Next is a Gabor or the Welcome Dance. This dance symbolizes the joyful reception of Gods who attend a temple festival. It is performed by a group of young girls making identical movements. Toward the end of the dance, the dancers make praying gestures and throw flowers to the audience as a welcome and a blessing.
Next is the Baris or the Warrior Dance. Baris is a traditional dance glorifying the manhood of the triumphant Balinese warrior. The word Baris means a line of file, in the sense of a line of soldiers, and was the name of the warriors who fought for the Kings of Bali. The dance depicts the courage and virtues of an admirable hero who is going to war. It may be performed by either a boy or a girl and in large performance it often follows the Legong dance.  
Next is the Legong Kraton dance. This is a classical dance which is usually staged in the palace courtyard to entertain the King. It is performed by three girl dancers in colorful costumes. The story is adapted from the classical story of King Lasem in which the arrogant King Lasem desired the unwillling Princess Langke Sari whose father he plans to stay. King Lasem himself is alter killed in the battle.
Next is the Taruna Jaya dance. This dance expresses changing mood characteristics of the transitional period experienced by any youth in Balinese life. The movement expresses the enthusiastic energy of youth.
Next is the Oleg Tambulilingan or the Bumblebee dance. The bumblebee dance is representative of a traditonal Balinese love story. It is performed by two dancers, one as a boy bee and one as a girl bee, who fall in love in a beautiful and romantic flower garden. It symbolizes the courtship ritual of two young Balinese in love.
Last is the Topeng Tua or the Mask dance. This is a very popular mask dance with a variable number of characters depending upon which story is depicted. It has a mystical nature and is frequently performed on religious occasions. In this classical performance, they chosen the character of an old man, the Topeng Tua. His rough and brutish nature is portrayed by the dancer in a drama like performance. Demons and other evil spirits are often also reperesented.  
And to end the show, they have a closing instrumental music where the performers will show themselves once again in front of the audience and a representative will thank everyone for watching.

Sorry if I cannot give you a video of the show, just pictures. Because I also want to enjoy the show and not to focus on getting a video of the show. You know, it`s better live than watching it in a crappy video, right?

PS: Though this is the last thing I did during my last night in Bali, please watch out for my Monkey Forest blogpost. Up next...
PSS: I copied the details of the show in a pamphlet given prior to the show in able for the audience to understand the meaning of the performance. For errata, please approach me via email or in the comments below. Thank you. 

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