Destinations Magazine

Barong and Kris Dance, Batuan, Bali, Indonesia

By Sonyaandtravis @sonyaandtravis

One of the must-sees while in Bali is a traditional Balinese dance, our guide brought us to one of the more popular dances held at Pura Puseh in the city of Batuan, ten kilometers south of Ubud. The dance is known as the Barong and kris dance, the Barong  lion-like mythical Balinese creature, and the kris (or keris) is a traditional dagger with a wavy blade.

Sonya and Farah waiting for the performance to start Traditional Balinese musical instruments The decorated stage at the Pura Puseh
The Barong creature appears Barong, a mythical lion-like creature Monkey and the Barong
Masked men making palm wine in the forest Girl dancers representing the servants of the Rangda Traditional Balinese dancer
Servant with Rangda the demon queen behind Dewi Kunti and her son, Sadewa Patih ordered to bring Sadewa into the forest
Pura Puseh with the actors on stage Farah and Travis with the traditional dance behind Kalika changed into a bird
Followers of the Barong helping to fight the Rangda Followers of the Barong with kris daggers Close up of the Barong

The Barong and kris dance

The Barong play represents an eternal fight between good and evil.  Barong (a mythological animal) represents the good spirit and Rangda (a mythological monster) represents an evil one.

The dance starts with a music overtone

Followed by his friend the monkey, the tiger comes out.  Three masked dancers appear, representing men making palm wine in the forest, whose child is killed by the Barong.  The three men get angry and attack the Barong which is helped by the monkey.  During the fight, the nose of one of the three men is bitten off.

First act

Two girl dancers appear, representing the servants of the Rangda, looking for the servants of Dewi Kunti who are on the way to meet their Patih (Prime Minister).

Second act

Third act

Dewi Kunti and her son, Sadewa come up.  Dewi Kunti has promised the Rangda to sacrifice Sadewa.  A witch appears and enters Dewi Kunti.  She becomes angry and orders the Patih to bring Sadewa into the forest.  The Patih also enters and does not have pity on Sadewa.  Sadewa is then taken to into a forest and tied to a tree.

Fourth act

Unknown by Rangda, Siwa God appears and gives Sadewa immortality.  The Rangda appears, ready to kill Sadewa, and eat him up but Sadewa is still alive.  She then surrenders and asks him to redeem herself.  Sadewa agrees and kills the Rangda.  The Rangda goes into Heaven.

Fifth act

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