Bali Dance & Shadow Puppet Guide

Art is everywhere in Bali. From the intricate flower decorations in a Barong dancer's headdress, to elaborately carved temple facades and beautiful oil paintings. Bali's performing arts are also an integral part of Balinese culture.

Music and dance play a huge part in significant rituals and religious ceremonies. Known as " the Island of the Gods" hardly a day goes by without a ceremony or festival taking place. Traditional dances with full gamelan orchestras are performed for tourists daily in addition to the day to day religious ceremonies. Definitely worth seeing.
Barong Dance

The Barong is triumphant display of graceful movement and vibrant colour. The dance is basically a contest between the opposing forces of Rangda - chaos and destruction, and Barong - order. (Basically good and evil.)

Suwung and Kesiman, in the suburbs of Denpasar.
Batubulan: Daily from 9:00 or 9:30 a.m.
Banjar Abasan, Singapadu: Daily from 9:30 a.m.
Puri Saren in Ubud: Fridays from 6:30 p.m.
Legong Dance

The Legong is a very difficult dance requiring great dexterity and is generally performed by young girls. The dance is choreographed to the finest detail, to a set pattern with no improvisation allowed.

Peliatan Stage, Friday from 6:30 p.m.
Pura Dalem & Puri Peliatan, Saturday from 6:30 p.m.
Pura Peliatan in Ubud, Sunday from 7:30 p.m.
Puri Saren, Ubud, Monday from 7:30 p.m.
Banjar Tegal, Kuta, Saturday and Tuesday from 8:00 p.m.
Kecak Dance

The kecak is a ritual dance which was created in the early 1930's for the movie "Island of the Demons" by the German painter and intellectual Walter Spies. The dance combines the chorus of the "Sanghyang" trance dance with a dance story from the epic "Ramayana."

It is extremely impressive with its circular chorus of sometimes over 100 bare-chested male singers.

Arts Center, Denpasar, daily from 6:30 p.m.
Banjar Buni, Kuta, Sunday from 8 p.m.
Banjar Tegal, Ubud, Sunday from 6:00 p.m.
Fire Dance

This dance is an exorcism dance form against spirit possession, where barefooted girls in trance dance among glowing coals.

Bona Kangin, Gianyar, Friday. Monday and Wednesday from 6:30
Bonasari, Gianyar, Friday, Monday and Wednesday from 7:00 p.m.
Batubulan, daily from 6:30 p.m.
Ramayana Dance

This highly entertaining dance form plays out the epic legends of the Ramayana. There are occasional performances in Banjar Buni, Kuta.
Shadow Puppets - Wayang Kulits

Wayang Kulit, is an Indonesian shadow puppet play, which uses intricately made and beautifully painted, gilded leather puppets. Although only the puppets' shadows are seen by the audience, the performances are fascinating. The stories told by shadows are often from the spirit world and are full of symbolism and mysticism.

A single, highly skilled puppeteer controls hundreds of puppets; plays out the roles of different characters with a different voice for each character; and leads the traditional musicians.

Wayang kulit plays can play for several hours or be several days long.

Popular performances are at Banjar Buni, Kuta, every Monday and Thursday 8:00 p.m.
Oka Kartini, Tebesaya, Peliatan, Ubud, on Saturdays from 8:00 p.m.

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