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Barong and Keris Dance

Barong and Keris dance is a Balinese dance story about the struggle between Barong (good) and (Rangda) evil with Balinese gambelan.

Batubulan village is one of tourist places and destination in Bali, it is popular with barong dance and stone carving .It is about 8 km from Denpasar. Batubulan had been known since a long time by the tourists because it’s handicrafts namely statues that made of sand stone. It can be seen along the road of Batubulan. You can experiance to watch traditional balinese Barong and Keris dance Batubulan village.

The identity and image as an art village, Batubulan has been famous in Indonesia and all over the world which has been built based on an artistic blessing dance of Barong (Barong and Keris dance). Barong Dance is daily performed at five different stages in this countryside, like Puseh Temple Stage, Tegal Tamu Stage, Denjalan Stage, Sahadewa Stage and Sila Budaya Stage.

Barong : Barong represents good spirit and looks quite lion-like. He has a red head and his body is covered in white hair. His head is adorned with jewels and pieces or mirror providing sparkle. Despite his innate goodness the Barong mask can still look a bit frightening.

Rangda : Rangda represents the evil spirit, Barong’s appearance is nothing as scary as that of Rangda however She is portrayed as a witchcraft-practising widow. Her looks more black symbolising her evil nature, she has whopping great teeth and when she moves on stage she moves with a creepy gait.

Story of Barong and Kris Dance Performance

The fight between Barong and Rangda is also the topic of traditional narratives, usually performed in the temple of the dead. The most famous is the story of Calonarang, a widow from Jirah who is furious because she cannot find a suitable husband for her daughter Ratna Manggali. All the eligible young men are scared of her black magic, so she gets revenge by wreaking havoc over the kingdom of Daha. The king, Erlangga, tries to punish her, but all his attempts fail. She kills all the soldiers he sends to destroy her. Then Rangda decides to destroy Daha. She summons all her disciples and in the still of night they go to the Setra Gendrainayu cemetery, to present offerings of dead flesh to Durga, the goddess of death. Durga agrees to the destruction, although she warns the witch not to enter the city of Daha. But the witch does not heed Durga's advice and the kingdom is soon hit by grubug (a plague) and the villages quickly become cemeteries, people dying even before they can bury their dead. Corpses are scattered everywhere and the stench is unbearable.The only person who can defeat the witch is Mpu Bharadah. At the king's request, Bharadah sends his disciple Bahula to steal Calonarang's magic weapon.images/banaspati.jpg>Bahula pretends to ask for Ratna Manggali's hand in marriage, and while the witch is away, Bahula steals the magic weapon with the help of Ratna Manggali. Then he gives the stolen weapon to his teacher Bharadah. The weapon turns out to be a manuscript containing the key to ultimate release (mokswhich has been used upside-down by Calonarang. Bharadah goes to Daha to challenge the witch. With the help of the Barong, she is defeated. Before being killed, she asks to be released from her curse and purified.

The story goes that Rangda, the mother of Erlangga, the King of Bali in the tenth century, was condemned by Erlangga's father because she practiced black magic. After she became a widow, she summoned all the evil spirits in the jungle, the leaks and the demons, to come after Erlangga. A fight occurred, but she and her black magic troops were too strong that Erlangga had to ask for the help of Barong. Barong came with Erlangga's soldiers, and fight ensued. Rangda casted a spell that made Erlangga soldiers all wanted to kill themselves, pointing their poisoned keris into their own stomachs and chests. Barong casted a spell that turned their body resistant to the sharp keris. At the end, Barong won, and Rangda ran away.

Somebody can die or get seriously injured in a Barong dance. It is said that if Rangda's spell is too strong, a weak soldier may not be able to resist it, even with the help of Barong. He may end up hurting himself with his own keris. The masks of Barong and Rangda are considered sacred items, and before they are brought out, a priest must be present to offer blessings by sprinkling them with holy water taken from Mount Agung, and offerrings must be presented.

Barong Dance is one of the distinctive arts community of Bali, where Barong it self is symbolic of goodness with shape like a lion. in Barong dance it tells the story about battle between Barong and Rangda, Rangda is a symbolic of badness with shape like a giant with a big canine. Both of them is a reflection of human action in daily life with the good and bad behavior, or in Balinese it's call Dharma and Adharma. Barong is like a doll which being moved by person inside it, Barong is very heavy, this dance usually performed by two big mans that lift and moving the barong from the inside. The story goes that Rangda, the mother of Erlangga, the King of Bali in the tenth century, was condemned by Erlangga's father because she practiced black magic. After she became a widow, she summoned all the evil spirits in the jungle, the leaks and the demons, to come after Erlangga. A fight occurred, but she and her black magic troops were too strong that Erlangga had to ask for the help of Barong. Barong came with Erlangga's soldiers, and fight ensued. Rangda casted a spell that made Erlangga soldiers all wanted to kill themselves, pointing their poisoned keris into their own stomachs and chests. Barong casted a spell that turned their body resistant to the sharp keris. At the end, Barong won, and Rangda ran away.

Barong is probably the most well known dance. It is also another story telling dance, narrating the fight between good and evil. This dance is the classic example of Balinese way of acting out mythology, resulting in myth and history being blended into one reality.

 

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