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Barong Dance Bali

Barong Dance Bali: An Epic’s Existence Combined with Art

Barong Dance Bali

Barong Dance Bali

One of the most well-known mythologies in the world is Greek mythology as there are several Hollywood movies inspired by it such as Thor, and Clash of the Titans series and also one of Japanese anime movie series such as Saint Seiya. Meanwhile, Indonesia has various kinds of mythology such as TantuPagelaran, NyaiRoroKidul, Naga Padoha, etc. Bali province is not only famous for its tourist attractions, but also its traditional dance named Barongwhich is also the part of Indonesia mythology. It is pictured in lion-creature who is the king of the good spirits combated with Ragda, the demon queen of all spirit protectors. In Barong dance Bali, the fight between Barong and Ragda represents the epic battle between good vs. evil spirit that is eventually won by good spirit.

Several Kinds of Barong Dance Bali

There are several kinds in Barong dance Bali such as Barong Ket(the most prevalent Barong and the holiest one), Barong Landung(the giant kind of Barong), Barong Celeng(wild-pig Barong creature), Barong Macan(tiger kind of Barong),Barong Naga (dragon Barong), Barong Landung(ancient human with two legs), and Barong Blasblasan(human creatures who use Wayang Wong masks from Ramayana story). Barong dance Bali’s history is told in three versions. The first one is according to HasnanSingodimayan (Balinese humanist), the story of Barong Kemiren (from Banyuwangi province) came from a gorgeous girl named Ja’friah who was protected by a large animal named Barong. Because of the chaos in Bali back then, Balinese citizens started to believe the story and develop the art in Banyuwangi. The second history version of Barong dance Bali tells that Barong art was originated from China carried into Java at Majapahit era. The third version of Barong dance Bali history was from pre-Hindu civilization during the battle of Dharma (good spirit) and Adharma (evil spirit) in Bali. Within the classic touch of art, Barong dance Bali has such heroic story to perform.

The Story of Barong Dance Bali

The story of Barong dance Bali began from Erlangga’s family, the king of Bali in the tenth century. Rangda, Erlangga’s mother was cursed by Erlangga’s father of committing to do witchcraft. Because of the hatred, she commanded all the evil spirits and demons in the jungle to attack Erlangga to seek for revenge after becoming a widow. A battle occurred between Erlangga and Rangda. However, Erlangga could not defeat her by himself as her black magic troops were too strong to be defeated, so he asked for the help of Barong. Along with Erlangga’s soldiers, Barong was involved in the battle. Rangda casted a spell making all Erlangga soldiers had the desire to kill their lives by aiming the keris(the wavy double-bladed dagger used in Barong dance Bali performance) into the stomachs and chests. The epic action of Barong for casting the spell that could turn the soldiers’ bodies remained alive even though the keris had been stabbed was regarded as heroic and powerful.

Eventually, Barong won the battle along with Erlangga’s soldiers, and Rangda ran away. To perform Barong dance Bali, a priest must be there for giving the blessings to the dancers by spraying them with holy water taken from Mount Agung as Rangda’s mask in Barong dance Bali performance may cause the dancer to face death even within the help of Barong. Gong Kebyaris the traditional Balinese instrument played by a group of people during Barong dance Bali performance. There are several places to enjoy the show of Barong dance Bali in certain spots such as Suwung, Kesiman, BatuTegal (Batubulan), Br AbasanSingapadu, Padangalak, and PuriSaren (Ubud) in the mornings at 9.30 am. The duration of Barong dance Bali performance is one hour. All in all, Barong dance Bali is one of the most well-known dances in Bali because of its epic existence combined with the traditional art.