Barong and Kris Dance from Traditional Balinese Culture

In Bali, dances are more than just movements; they are a way to tell stories and share the island’s rich culture. One of these dances is the Barong Dance. It is a special dance that shows the fight between good and evil. This dance is not only for fun. It is important in Bali because it connects to the island’s beliefs and traditions. The Barong Dance is often a part of ceremonies and rituals. This shows how important it is in Bali. It is not just a dance, but a way for the people of Bali to keep their history and beliefs alive. (source: Wikipedia Barong Dance)

The Essence and Mythological Roots of the Barong Dance

Barong dance and costume

The Barong Dance is a traditional performance in Bali that tells a story of the eternal struggle between good and evil. It features the Barong, a lion-like spirit representing good, and Rangda, the evil witch queen. Two dancers bring Barong to life inside a large, ornate costume, depicting his fight to protect the people from Rangda’s wickedness.

This dance is deeply rooted in Balinese mythology, particularly the tale of Calon Arang, a story about a king’s battle against Rangda’s black magic. This narrative is important in Bali’s culture, symbolizing the ongoing battle between good (Barong) and evil (Rangda). The Barong Dance, by bringing these myths to life, keeps Bali’s ancient stories and beliefs alive and vibrant in today’s world. It’s also an experience to watch this dance. Maybe you’ve just watched it and want to know more about it. (thanks for reading!)

Symbolism and Costume

Barong Costume

The costume of the Barong in the dance is very special. It is made to look like a lion and is very detailed. The costume has white fur and is decorated with gold and mirror pieces. This shows how important the Barong is as a good spirit.

There are different types of Barong costumes in Bali. Each one looks like a different animal, like a lion, tiger, or dragon. These different Barongs are used in different places on the island. Each one has its own meaning and shows the spirit that protects that area. (source: Indonesia Travel on Barong Dance)

Barong Masks

The Kris Dance: A Significant Segment

Barong Dance Bali with Kris

In the Barong Dance, there is a special part called the Kris Dance. This is where dancers use kris, which are special knives, in a battle between good and evil. The dancers act like they are in a trance and try to stab themselves with the kris. But they don’t get hurt. This shows how the good spirit, Barong, protects them from Rangda’s black magic. This part of the dance is very sacred and important. It shows how good can save people from evil, even in a trance. This part of the dance is not really suitable for young children as they see how dancers attempt to stab themselves.

TIP: Learn more about the Cultural Dances in Bali.

Where can you watch the Barong Dance performed?

Barong dancer

Barong Dance in Ubud

The Barong Dance in Ubud doesn’t happen every day. If you want to see it every day, you should go to the Batubulan area. But, if you are in Ubud, here are some places and times for the Barong Dance, with ticket prices (note that these can change, it’s always good to have some extra cash at hand):

TIP: Also check out the Museum Guide to see more about the culture, art and history of Bali.

Barong Dance in Seminyak

In Seminyak, one of the best places to watch the Barong Dance is at Made’s Warung. This popular spot is not just known for its delicious local food from Bali but also for its vibrant cultural offerings. Every Sunday, from 19:30 to 21:00, Made’s Warung hosts a special performance of the Barong Dance.

This gives you a chance to enjoy traditional Balinese dance in a lively and welcoming setting. Watching the Barong Dance here is a great way to experience Balinese culture while enjoying some of the best local cuisine in Seminyak​​.

Other places for the Barong Dance

  1. Batubulan Village, Gianyar Regency
    • Location:
    • Performance Time: Daily, usually in the morning or early afternoon.
    • Entrance Fee: IDR 150,000 for adults, IDR 75,000 for children​​​​.
    • Duration: Around one hour.
    • Additional Info: Open-air stage, advisable to wear modest attire and bring sun protection.
  2. Kesiman, Denpasar
  3. Kuta

Video of the Barong Dance In Bali

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