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 the classic example of Balinese way of acting out mythology, resulting in myth and history being blended into one reality.
Barong dance which is also known as Barong and Kriss dance is a mixed of Balinese traditional dance, drama and music. The most beautiful woman dance such as Legong Keraton is also presented in other dress attire as the opening or introduction of the dance. Usually by 2 girls followed by Balinese traditional music called Gong.
Most Barong dance performance taking the theme of the performance from Mahabharata Epic, especially the period of Nakula and Sahadewa. The story is correlated with the struggle between the benevolence and bad spirit. The story presented for Barong dance has been strongly influenced by the school of Tantrayana Buddhist.
This is shown by the personalization of good spirit with Barong dance, a creature resembling a tiger, and the bad spirit by a witch with ugly physical appearance, even frightening. The whole plot of the of the performance is always inserted with the moments of dialog between both the main figures and the servants or jokes.
The music is played to strengthen or downturn the tension of the situation among the figures. So this type of performance can be said it is a mixed performance between dance, drama and clown.
Banas Pati Rajah is the fourth “brother” or spirit child that accompanies a child throughout life. Banas Pati Rajah is the spirit which animates Barong. A protector spirit, he is often represented by a lion, and traditional performances of his struggles against Rangda are popular parts of Balinese culture. The Barong is often portraited with two monkeys.
The animal / mythical creature would dance along the street to the calonarang dance. A priest would throw Holy Water at it. It is known as the Demon Queen and Mother of All Spirit Guarders.
The lion barong is one of five traditional Barong. In Bali each region of the island has its own protective spirit for its forests and lands. Each Barong for each region is modeled after a different animal. There is a boar, a tiger, a dragon (or serpent) and the traditional lion.
The lion is the popular one as it comes from the Gianyar region where Ubud (the home of tourist viewed ritual) is located. Within the calonarang, the dance drama in which the Barong appears, the barong responds to Rangda’s use of magic to control and kill her to restore balance.
Photo Gallery Barong Dance
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