There are many Barong dance stages in Bali with regular show, both daily, or certain days that is appointed according to customer they serve. Well known stages are in the town of Batublan and east Denpasar or Kesiman. In the town of Batubulan there are at least 4 stages known so far, but the most active with daily schedule of performance are only 3 which location is close each other. Their location is distributed within 3 km street of the main road that leading from Denpasar to Gianyar city. These 3 Barong dance stages known to have also enough space for parking the car or buses. One stage is just on the side of the road known as Barong Den Jalan, one is performed at the meeting hall of a temple called Pura Puseh, deep inside the town among the rice terrace yet now there are already many houses for local people also, and the other is performed at the house of a local people which is set up as beautiful traditional Balinese stage for traditional dances. All stages are made in traditional Balinese stages, with typical decoration, moated brick wall and entrance at some places, and typical temple and Balinese meeting hall architecture.
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 clowns. 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.
The dance is started at 9.30 AM with the rhythmic of Balinese traditional
music called Gong. After 5 or 10 minutes the melody of Gong change suddenly
and from the screen appear 2 girls with Balinese traditional beautiful dressing.
These 2 girls perform the most feminism dance, showing how beautiful is
the body of women and their ability to move very flexibly, following the
tension and downturn of the music. Finalizing the dance, the Prime Minister
of the kingdom of Ayodya Pura appears on the stage, expressing his difficult
position in the kingdom as the Princess wish to sacrifice her 2 youngest
sons to the king of Demon. The Prime Minister is getting pressure from high
dignitaries to refuse the plan of the Princess, and is ordered to present
before the Princess expressing the reason that the sacrifice is not necessary.
Yet the people have been to much suffering from the disease and malicious
action of the demon if the sons are not sacrificed. It is a great dilemma
for the Princes, weather she should depend her sons or the people. With
the explanation the Prime Minister promise to the Princess that he will
do his utmost to fight the demon and safe the people and the young princess.
Following the disappearance of Prime Minister and the Princess from the stage appear the servants of the Demon with ugly faces performing disoriented dances. This is to show how frightening is the existence of a demon with it's servants. Here the two main clowns appear on the stage and fight the demon servants. Most Barong dance have good clowns, as this part is actually the most interesting for the people who are able to make people laughing with her action on the stage even for those who do not understand the language they spoken on the stage. The defeat of Demon servant followed by the appearance of Princess with the Prime Minister again in a quarrel for disagreement of the sacrification of the youngest sons. Yet the king of Demon knows the conflict and soon send magic influence to the Prime Minister and change their mind to agree. Then the Prime Minister drag the 2 sons to be tied on a tree in the forest to be sacrificed to the king of Demon.
As soon as Prime Minister left the boys in the forest the king of Demon appear on the stage which is called Rangda. The appearance of Rangda is really frightening in the perception of Balinese. Long fangs and teeth, big and long breasts, curling and messy long hair, hand nails are arching and long. With short dance by the player of Rangda, then she soon approach the tied son, yet suddenly the holy spirit of Bhatara Guru appears and save the boys. In the situation of total disoriented, Barong appear on the stage fight the Rangda. No one of them can defeat each other, and soon the servants of Barong around 10 or more men in checquered cloth appear with kriss on hand to defeat Rangda. Yet due to her strong magic power Rangda spreads the invisible power to the servants. Since they are stirred by the magic, they in contrary stab themselves with their own Kriss. Some of the servants got trance and other still dancing while stabbing themselves seriously as it seemed to be. A Pemangku or local priest with white dress then appears with holy water and spreads the holy water to the trance servants. Condition is now return to normal, and the dance is finalized, with the total changes of the melody of the music. Most of the guests come down to the dancers standing on the stage to get photo together.
Among various tour packages and tour options in Bali there are some tours which can be said always on the publications and interest a large part of travellers to Bali. Kintamani mountain tour sits at the first number as the most popular sightseeing tour, second is Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot tour, third is Uluwatu temple tour.
- Kintamani tour bring combination of watching barong dance, beautiful temple architecture, beautiful natural views, dance, carving, accessories and painting see description
- Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot temples are two historical heritages from 17th, Taman Ayun palace temple which is always found near palaces of Balinese king starting 18th century see description
- Uluwatu temple located on steep drop cliff on the southernmost tip of Bali island. see description