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Bali Dances

Bali Dances

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Balinese dance is an ancient dance tradition that is part of the religious and artistic expression among the Balinese people of Bali island, Indonesia.

The Balinese dance is dynamic, angular and intensely expressive.Balinese dancers express the stories of dance-drama through the bodily gestures including gestures of fingers, hands, head and eyes.

There is a great richness of dance forms and styles in Bali; and particularly notable are those ritualistic dance dramas which involve Rangda, the witch, and the great beast Barong.

Most of dances in Bali are connected to Hindu rituals, such as the Sanghyang Dedari sacred dance than invoked hyang spirits that believed to possess the dancers in trance state during the performance.

Other Balinese dances are not linked to religious rituals and created for certain purposes, such as Pendet welcoming dance and Joged dance that is social dance for entertainment purpose.

In Bali there are various categories of dance, including epic performances such as the omnipresent Mahabharata and Ramayana. Among the dance traditions in Bali are:

  • Barong, king of the spirits
  • Baris dance, war dances
  • Cendrawasih dance, the bird of paradise
  • Condong dance, a basic dance, preface to Legong
  • Legong dance, a refined dance
  • Kecak dance, the Ramayana monkey chant dance
  • Janger dance, a sitting dance with swaying movements
  • Pendet dance, a simple dance performed before making an offering at a temple
  • Topeng dance, a mask dance
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