Barong Dance

Barong is a mythological figure whose mission is to protect Bali from all evil disturbances that threaten the island. The barong is shown in a variety of animal forms, including lions, tigers, wild boars, buffalo, elephants, and canines. Barong has become a part of Javanese and Balinese culture because people still believe in animistic ideas. The barong character in Bali is shaped like a cross between an animal face and a frightening yet good demeanour. When you look at it, it might make you feel religious. King Airlangga brought barong ponorogo or Reog with him when he fled to the island of Bali to rescue himself.

Things To Know Before Visit Barong and Keris Dance

The barong and keris dances are traditional Balinese dances that depict the battle between Barong as a good character and Rangda as an evil character, which is often shown to tourists as one of the cultural attractions that always amazes us. At first the barong and keris dance was a dance in a religious ceremony known as Calonarang, which was performed only on the day the ceremony was held and also performed in various religious rituals. Over time, making this barong and keris dance begin to be performed as a cultural attraction, from the first stage the appreciation from tourists was very good, so many dance studios opened this barong dance performance in various strategic places, most of which you can see here at Batubulan area. A dance show that is very famous and is only performed in the morning. With a storyline that is narrated from the story of the barong and rangda battles taken from the Calonarang story, which used to be often staged when there were religious ceremonies. Barong and Kris dance like the Kecak Dance the Barong and Kris dance is a battle between good and evil spirits. Barong can take various forms but in this dance he takes the form of the dance Barong Keket, the most holy of the Barongs. The Barong Keket is a strange creature, half shaggy dog, half lion and is played by two men in much the same way as a circus clown-horse. His opponent is the witch Rangda.

The fight between Barong and Rangda is also the topic of traditional narratives, usually performed in the temple of the dead. The most famous is the story of Calonarang, a widow from Jirah who is furious because she cannot find a suitable husband for her daughter Ratna Manggali. All the eligible young men are scared of her black magic, so she gets revenge by wreaking havoc over the kingdom of Daha. The king, Erlangga, tries to punish her, but all his attempts fail. She kills all the soldiers he sends to destroy her. Then Rangda decides to destroy Daha. She summons all her disciples and in the still of night they go to the Setra Gendrainayu cemetery, to present offerings of dead flesh to Durga, the goddess of death. Durga agrees to the destruction, although she warns the witch not to enter the city of Daha. But the witch does not heed Durga’s advice and the kingdom is soon hit by Grubug (a plague) and the villages quickly become cemeteries, people dying even before they can bury their dead.

Corpses are scattered everywhere and the stench is unbearable. The only person who can defeat the witch is Mpu Bharadah. At the king’s request, Bharadah sends his disciple Bahula to steal Calonarang’s magic weapon. image/banaspati.jpg>Bahula pretends to ask for Ratna Manggali’s hand in marriage, and while the witch is away, Bahula steals the magic weapon with the help of Ratna Manggali. Then he gave the stolen weapon to his teacher Bharadah. The weapon turns out to be a manuscript containing the key to ultimate release (moks which has been used upside-down by Calonarang. Bharadah goes to Daha to challenge the witch. With the help of the Barong, she is defeated. Before being killed, she asks to be released from her curse and purified. The story goes that Rangda, the mother of Erlangga, the King of Bali in the tenth century, was condemned by Erlangga’s father because she practiced black magic. After she became a widow, she summoned all the evil spirits in the jungle, the leaks and the demons, to come after Erlangga. A fight occurred, but she and her black magic troops were too strong that Erlangga had to ask for the help of Barong. Barong came with Erlangga’s soldiers, and fight ensued. Rangda cast a spell that made Erlangga soldiers all wanted to kill themselves, pointing their poisoned keris into their own stomachs and chests. Barong casted a spell that turned their body resistant to the sharp keris. At the end, Barong wo n, and Rangda ran away.

Barong Dance is one of the distinctive arts community of Bali, where the Barong itself is a symbol of goodness with a shape like a lion. in Barong dance it tells the story about battle between Barong and Rangda, Rangda is a symbolic of badness with shape like a giant with a big canine. Both of them are a reflection of human action in daily life with the good and bad behavior, or in Balinese it’s called Dharma and Adharma. Barong is like a doll which being moved by person inside it, Barong is very heavy, this dance is usually performed by two big men who lift and move the barong from the inside. Somebody can die or get seriously injured in a Barong dance. It is said that if Rangda’s spell is too strong, a weak soldier may not be able to resist it, even with the help of Barong. He may end up hurting himself with his own keris. The masks of Barong and Rangda are considered sacred items, and before they are brought out, a priest must be present to offer blessings by sprinkling them with holy water taken from Mount Agung, and offering rings must be presented. Barong is probably the most well known dance. It is also another story telling dance, narrating the fight between good and evil. This dance is a classic example of Balinese way of acting out mythology, resulting in myth and history being blended into one reality.

If you are on vacation in Bali with your family and children, before deciding to watch the Barong Ubud dance, you should first ask your children. Do they dare to watch the Barong Ubud dance or not? You do this by showing examples of the Barong Ubud dance through internet media on Youtube. In this way you will know whether your child dares to watch the barong dance or not. If your child doesn’t dare, then you have nothing to lose by paying for the entrance ticket to the Barong Ubud dance. Then you have to leave the barong dance performance because your child doesn’t dare to watch it.

For the Barong Ubud dance performance, it is not held every day. For those who want to watch the barong dance which is held every day, then you have to watch it in the Batubulan area. For the schedule for the Barong Ubud dance performances, you can see in the table below. 

Note: Prices for Barong Dance Performance Tickets in Ubud, may change at any time

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