Balinese Dances and Dramas – A Secret and Exotic Art

Located in South Bali is the beautiful coastal town of Seminyak. Known for being one of the most developed and exclusive areas of Bali, Seminyak is home to some of Bali’s more popular beaches and temples such as Seminyak Beach and the Pura Petitenget Temple. Seminyak is also known for its luxury accommodation and Bali 5 star resorts such as the W Retreat & Spa Bali Seminyak.

The Balinese people are known for their rich heritage and culture, and one aspect of this is their native dance and drama. Balinese dance and drama is an ancient art known for incorporating religious expressions and cultural symbolism. Being passed down from generation to generation, Balinese drama and dance is quite a secretive art, with only the practitioners of these arts knowing its full depth. Yet visitors to Bali will be able to witness these amazing and exotic performances which are both exciting and captivating.

Balinese dances and drama are greatly influenced by Hinduism. Hence many of these performances have traditional ritualistic values. Each dance or drama expresses Hindu rituals or depicts a tale in Hindu folklore. Thus these dances incorporate decretive costumes, elaborate head masks, interpretative and articulate expressions using the eyes, mouth, fingers, hips and feet. Balinese drama and dance also uses the unique technique of using various body parts to create layered percussive sounds, to set the rhythm and speed of a dance or drama. Some of the most popular Balinese dramas and dances include The Ramayana; a slightly different depiction of the Hindu legend of King Rama’s defeat of Rahwana, the Barong Dance; a dance depicting the battle between the Forest God Barong and Rangda, the Legong Keraton; a graceful interpretative dance depicting the tale of Rangkesari.

Balinese dances and drama is both illustrative and creative, and is known for gripping its audiences with its exotic depictions, smooth and silky movements and powerful storytelling, and is thus worth exploring while in Bali.

Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.