March 20, 2021

Barong Dance - Tari Barong Ket Bali

Barong Dance is one of the traditional Balinese dance performances that is still preserved today. This dance is thought to have originated from Pre-Hindu culture, when local people still believed in the supernatural protection power of animals.

It is said that the word barong comes from the local term "bahruang" or "beruang" meaning bear. This animal is believed to represent good spirit and as the guardian of the forest. Barong is a mythological creature who has supernatural powers and always provides protection.

Barong dance has several variants, one of which is the Barong Ket (Keket). Barong Ket dance is also known as Banaspati Raja or king of the jungle, which is believed to have supernatural powers.

This is usually danced by two dancers who are called "juru saluk" or "juru bapang". This dance performance is accompanied by Balinese Gamelan Semar Pagulingan. Barong Dance performances are usually held during certain ceremonies and also as a show for tourists who come to Bali.

The overall form of Barong Ket is a blend of lion, tiger and ox. This type of variant has a red head design complete with crown accessories. The body is decorated with beautiful leather carvings complete with hundreds of small mirrors. This mirror will reflect light and look like a jewel. While the hair on the body is made of certain plant fibers.

The Barong Ket dance depicts a scene about the eternal battle between good (virtue) and evil. As is well known, Balinese people believe in the philosophy of Rwa Bhineda and is reflected in this dance. Barong is the symbol of virtue, while his opponent is Rangda as the symbol of evil.

In the battle scene, Rangda cast black magic which hit the soldiers. This made the soldiers want to end their life by stabbing the keris (dagger) into the body. But Barong and Priest protect the soldiers who are affected by black magic by making them immune from sharp objects. Finally, Barong won, while Rangda lost and ran away.

This beautiful dance performance has become a distinctive Balinese icon and attracts many tourists. As if their vacation in Bali would not feel complete if they had not watched the Barong Dance performance.


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