Balinese dance is really captivate and wowed audience during the show. The beauty of the bodily gestures, the bright colors and the story-dance are important part in any dance that performed. Balinese dance is a very old dance tradition, has a dynamic movement, angular and so expressive. The dance is part of the religious and expression of art among the Balinese people of Bali, Indonesia.
Balinese dance has received a recognition from UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage, in the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Windhoek, Namibia (29 November - 4 December 2015). Balinese dance is recognized includes three genres consist of: Wali (sacred dances), Bebali (semi sacred dances) and Balih-balihan (dances for entertainment purpose). The three genres are represented by nine dances, which describes it function and living tradition in Balinese community.
The sacred dance or "Wali" consist of: Rejang (in Klungkung), Sanghyang Dedari (in Karangasem), and Bari Upacara or Baris Utama (Bangli). Rejang dance is sacred ceremonial dance by young women in traditional dress ceremony. Sanghyang Dedari dance is sacred trance dance (performed by two young girls) to counteract negative supernatural forces. While the Baris Utama Dance is conveying the heroic spirit of religious, danced by even numbers of male dancers.
The semi-sacred dance or "Bebali" consist of: Topeng Sidhakarya / Topeng Pajegan (in Tabanan), Gambuh Drama dance (in Gianyar), and Wayang Wong Drama dance (in Buleleng). Topeng Sidhakarya is performed by masked dancers to neutralize the evil spirits. Gambuh dance is performed by 25-40 dancers, formerly for royal theatrical performances, now accompaniment to ceremonies. While Wayang Wong combine dance, music and epic drama.
The dance for entertainment purpose or "Balih-balihan" consist of: Legong Kraton (in Denpasar City), Joged Bumbung (in Jembrana), and Bagong Ket "Kuntisraya" (in Badung). Legong Kraton is performed by 2-3 girls, developed from Sanghyang Dedari and Gambuh. Joged Bumbung is a popular social dance by couples, during harvest season importance or days. Barong Ket represent a fight between two mythological characters, Barong (in the form of Lion, symbolizing goodness) and Rangda (the evil witch).
Bali dancers learn the craft as children. They are taught to dance with their hands before they can walk. The dance movements are closely associated with the rhythms of the gamelan, a musical ensemble specific in Java and Bali. The parents usually take dance lessons for their kids that are widely spread in Bali.
Outside of Bali, there are also several Balinese dance studio for children and adults. One of them is located at Jl. Dr. Otten 15, Bandung, West Java, named Keluarga Kesenian Bali (KKB) Githa Saraswati. Githa Saraswati is one of the Balinese dance studio in Bandung, established on 26 September 1961 by Mr. Gede Raka, Mr. Ngurah Alit, Mr. Mertha Sutedja and Mr. Djoni Gingsir.
Dance practice is done on Sunday (four times a month), in the front room of Asrama Mahasiswa Bali Viyata Tirthagangga (AMB-VT), equipped with large wall mirror and a set of gamelan. The dancers are divided into several classes or level. The "practice time" start from morning to evening depends on dancer level. One of its routine events is Pentas Masal. The event is held for all students, to performing dance directly in front of the audience (the public). Pentas Masal serves as dance learning evaluation and level upgrade for the dancers of Githa Saraswati. Following its contacts:
- Keluarga Kesenian Bali (KKB) Githa Saraswati, Asrama Otten 15, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
- Image : Original Collection