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Barong Dance Bali
Barong Keris Dance

Barong Dance Bali is a type of traditional Balinese dance that is played by one to two people wearing costumes and masks of four legged animals. Then along with its development, Barong Dance is also manifested with two-legged animals.

Barong dance is said to be an art that is part of the repertoire of pre-Hindu culture in Bali besides the Sanghyang dance. Both are religious and sacred in nature which were originally performed as a means of religious ceremonies.

This dance depicts the battle between dharma (Virtue) and adharma (Ugliness). In this battle, the Barong dancers manifested virtue, meanwhile, the figure of Rangda, who looks creepy with two pointed fangs in his mouth, plays virtue.

Barong Dance Bali

There are various opinions that have colored the history of Barong Dance in Bali. There are those who argue that this art has been around for a long time in Indonesia and has become part of the arts of Austronesian society.

The art in question is to tell the story of Bhatara Pancering Jagat and his wife, Ratu Ayu Pingit Dalem Dasar.

Meanwhile, there are also those who say that this dance comes from a sacred story in Balinese Itihasa. Regarding the story about Barong and Rangda, it has something to do with the story when Shiva was looking for Dewi Uma.

Several other sources say that Barong is an adaptation of the Barongsai in the stories of Chinese society. This opinion is widely debated because there are very clear differences, where Barong Dance has a good story value and is often interspersed with humor.

Mythologically this dance is intended to ward off diseases caused by evil spirits (leak) that disturb humans. Even so sacred Barong Dance by the Balinese people is given a high title which is said to be equivalent to the power of the Hindu gods.

The title referred to includes Ratu Lingsir, Raktu Sakti, Ratu Gede and so on. The naming is because Barong is mythologically considered an incarnation or symbol of Lord Brahma to ward off evil spirits that will spread disease in the world.

Along with development, as with several other traditional dances, this dance also does not escape from changes in function. These changes are more due to the influence of the social structure of Balinese society.

Besides that, it is also suspected by the ideals and interests of several groups of Balinese people, namely groups of artists, tourism, customs, religions and the government.

As a middle ground, a Barong Profan performance was made which resembled the Barong Sakral performance as a new culture which was expected to be a sacred boundary for whether or not Barong Dance in Balinese society.

The difference between the two can be seen from several sides, including the place of implementation, leadership, actors, time, platform, movement, story to ritualism.

Barong Dance Bali
Legong Dancer at Barong Dance

The diversity of species also colors the existence of Barong Dance in Bali. The many types of dances are due to the fact that each area in Bali has its own guardian spirit which is then depicted in the form of certain animals.

Barong Ket or Keket is the most common type performed in Bali and the most complete in the vocabulary of dance movements. In its form, this Barong combines the forms of Lion, Tiger, Cow and Dragon.

Its body was decorated with intricately carved leather with hundreds of tiny mirrors that looked like jewels when struck by light. This Barong is danced by two dancers namely Juru Saluk and Juru Bapang.

In its performances this dance is usually paired with Rangda, a sinister figure who symbolizes ugliness. The Barong Ket and Rangda dance performances are a symbol of the eternal battle between two opposites (good and bad) accompanied by Gamelan Semar Pangulingan.

In its form, Barong Bangkal or Barong Bangkung resembles an adult pig, adult male pigs in Bali are called Bangkal, while the female is called Bangkung.

This type of Balinese Barong Dance is usually held at Galungan-Kuningan celebrations by ngelawang or going around the village door to door accompanied by Gamelan Batel or Tetamburan.

This type is more like the Ondel-ondel, a typical Betawi dance. Has a hole in the abdomen as a gap in the view for the dancer.

In several places in Bali, there are Barong Landung which is not only a pair and each of them is given a role such as Mantri (king), Galuh (empress), Limbur or maid and so on. It was held with Gamelan Batel music accompaniment.

Like the Barong Bangkal Dance, this type of barong which is shaped like a tiger is also danced by ngelawang or door-to-door around the village.

Not infrequently the Barong Macan dance performance is also equipped with a kind of dance drama like Arja or Balinese Traditional Opera. This type of Barong is danced by two dancers to the accompaniment of Gamelan Batel.

Barong Blasblasan (Kedingkling) is very much different from other types of barong, which is more like a mask costume with each character being danced by a dancer.

The stories and characters are exactly the same as those in Wayang Wong. Just like Barong Bangkal and Barong Macan, the Barong Kadingkling Dance is performed by wandering around the village in Galungan and Kuningan celebrations. The accompaniment is Gamelan Batel and Babonangan music.

A rare Barong Dance which is only performed on special occasions. The shape is more primitive than other types. The masks worn are made of coconut shells and the costumes are made of keraras or dried banana leaves.

This barong symbolizes the holy creatures (the companions of Ida Ratu Pancering Jagat) who reside at Pancering Jagat Temple, Trunyan.

The dancers are teenagers who have been purified, each of whom carries a whip that is played while running around the temple. Barong, which is danced to the accompaniment of the Balaganjur or Babonangan gamelan, is only found in the Trunyan-Kintamani area, Bangli.

  • The dance opens with playful monkeys teasing Barong in a peaceful environment.
  • The next scene is the Rangda character appears and wreaks havoc. She casts black magic upon male dancers, who represent Airlangga’s soldiers, and orders them to commit suicide. In a trance, these men stab themselves on their chest with their own kris. Meanwhile, Barong and the priest cast protective magic on these men, which makes them invulnerable to sharp objects.
  • The dance ends with the final battle between Barong and Rangda, concluding with the victory of Barong over Rangda. Rangda runs away, the evil is defeated, and the celestial order is restored.
Barong Dance Bali
Barong Ket

Famous place to see Barong Keris Dance performance at Batubulan Village, Sukawati District, Gianyar Regency. The dances show once daily in the morning will take an hour starting from 9.30am till 10.30am. At the end of the show usually features photo-taking onstage with the performing cast in their full costumes.

Batubulan Village located about 30 – 45 minutes drive by car from most tourist area in Bali Ubud, Kuta, Legian, Seminyak or Sanur area. To get there can also by ride the motor bike or rent car. If your hotel located in Ubud you may go with Ubud Driver including to see some other interesting places located near by. You may take our Full Day Tours Itinerary Tour Number 1 Ubud Village – Batur Volcano Tour, Tour Number 2 Ubud Art Villages – Bird park Tour, Tour Number 3 Ubud Village – Tanah Lot Sunset Tour, Tour Number 5 Tegenungan Waterfall – Ubud Village Tour, Tour Number 10 Batur Volcano – Kehen Temple Tour or Tour Number 16 Batur Volcano – Besakih Temple Tour and Half Day Tours Itinerary Tour Number 1 Morning Ubud Tour and also can combine by do other Adventure Tour is like River Rafting, ATV Ride, Elephant Ride and Beach Water Sport Activities.

Adult Children
IDR 150,000
IDR 100,000

The ticket price to watch the dance at IDR 150,000 per person for adult and IDR 100,000 for children. The ticket can buy on spot on that day when you arrive at dance venue by cash in IDR (Indonesian Rupiah).

Some other interesting places located near Barong Keris Dance to visit is Ubud Monkey Forest, Ubud Market, Ubud Palace, Saraswati Temple, Ubud Gunung Lebah Temple, Campuhan Ridge Walk Bali, Sukawati Gifts Market, Ubud Ayung River Rafting, Bali Salt Farm, Batubulan Village, Tegallalang Village Rice Terrace, Bali Coffee Farm, Bali Swing, Tegenungan Waterfall, Kanto Lampo Waterfall, Tibumana Watefall, Spring Water Temple Tirta Empul, Gunung Kawi Sebatu Spring Water Temple, Traditional Bali House, Kintamani Mount Batur Volcano, Puseh Batuan Temple, Butterfaly Park, Bali Zoo Park, Bali Bird Park, Celuk Jewelery Village and Ubud Art Villages.

Barong Keris Dance performance located at Batubulan Village, Sukawati District, Gianyar Regency, Bali Province – Indonesia.

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Barong Dance Bali