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Learn Private Balinese Dance

Learn Private – Balinese Dance ᬇᬕᭂᬮᬦ᭄ᬩᬮᬶ (Igelan Bali)) is an ancient dance tradition that is part of the religious and artistic expression among the Balinese people of Bali island, Indonesia. Balinese dance is dynamic, angular, and intensely expressive.
Balinese dancers express the stories of dance-drama through bodily gestures including gestures of fingers, hands, head, and eyes.

Types of Dance and Their Functions

Sacred dance (religious dance), this dance functions as a complementary performer in religious ceremonies carried out in temples during religious ceremonies, as a performer of religious ceremonies and ceremonies that do not use acting, for example the Rejang dance, Pendet dance.

The art of Bebali dance/ceremonial dance, is a dance art that functions as an accompaniment to ceremonies/upakara in temples or outside temples, generally using plays, for example Dance Drama, Masks, Arja.

The art of Balinese dance (secular dance) is any dance that has dance elements and basics from noble dance arts which are not classified as wali dances or bebali dances and has a function as a serious art and entertainment art. For example, Legong dance, Oleg Tamulilingan dance, etc.

In the description above, it can be concluded that according to its function, dance is divided into three, namely: Wali Dance, which is a sacred dance which is only danced in holy places, Bebali Dance, which is still related to traditional ceremonies both in temples and outside temples which already use plays. , Balinese dance, a dance that contains elements of art and entertainment.

Balinese Dance Culture

Learn Private – Balinese dance is a culture that is maintained by the Balinese people. This Balinese dance can be for female and male or  couples.

Traditional Balinese dance is an interesting culture with a variety of dances such as Pendet Dance, Panji Semirang Dance, Legong Dance to Kecak Dance and other dances. This traditional dance is not only attractive for its agile and graceful movements, but every traditional Balinese dance is full of meaning because it has an interesting history, background and behind story.

Here are some interesting stories from several traditional Balinese dances.

Pendet Dance

Pendet dance is a traditional dance created from Bali which was very popular in the 1970s to 1980s. At that time there was not much invasion of modern dance from outside. Pendet Dance is a creative dance that was developed from the ‘Pendet Dewa’ ritual dance, which was created by I Wayan Rindi and Ni Ketut Reneng in 1950.

At that time, in its performance, the Pendet Dance featured four dancers. In 1961, I Wayan Beratha developed the Pendet Dance by increasing the number of dancers to five people as is often seen today.

A year later, I Wayan Beratha again developed the Pendet Dance so that it could be danced en masse by around 800 people, at which time this dance would be introduced to the world at the opening ceremony of the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta. Historically, the Pendet Dance was originally a sacred dance which was part of the piodalan ceremony (bebali) which took place in the temple or family holy place. The ceremony is a manifestation of gratitude, respect, welcoming the gods who reside on earth and worship of the gods who reside in the temple during the ceremony.

The Pendet dance is usually performed in the temple courtyard (jeroan) or central courtyard (jaba Tengah) to the accompaniment of the pelog-tuned kebyar gamelan and the slendro-tuned semar pehulingan gamelan gong. The dancers wear traditional Balinese clothing and carry bowls containing offerings in the form of flowers, coins, incense sticks and food for daily consumption.

However, over time, to maintain the existence of the Pendet Dance and fulfill the entertainment needs of the community, the artists then developed the dance which originally only functioned as a ceremonial or guardian dance into a ‘balih-balihan’ or entertainment dance.

In the end, the Pendet dance functions as an entertainment and welcoming dance or welcome dance with the ‘balih-balihan’ movement which takes several movements such as megol, agem, angsel, nyeregseg, and ngumbang. Some of these dance artists make the movements more interesting by adding new movements and repeating some movements.

Now, the very dynamic Pendet Dance movements are formed from the development of the tempo of the accompanying music and varied movements that influence each other. Some foreign tourists are so attracted to this dance that some are even willing to learn the Pendet dance.

Semirang Panji Dance

This dance functions as a performance dance at certain events such as commemorations, religious events and so on. Apart from being entertainment, this dance also contains meaning. And as a traditional dance originating from Bali, in general the Panji Semirang Dance also educates Indonesian people about history.

Based on the book Cultivating Arts Literacy in Elementary Schools by Mansurdin (2020), the Panji Semirang Dance is a dance that was first introduced by I Nyoman Kaler in 1942 and was then preserved by his students.

There is an interesting story behind the Panji Semirang Dance which tells the story of a princess named Galuh Candrakirana, a princess from the kingdom of Kediri who fell in love with prince Galuh Inu Kertapaji, the son of the king of Jenggala. Putri Galuh is forced to go on an adventure and disguise herself as a man named Raden Panji to find her lover. The love story of Princess Galuh and Prince Inu is ruined by Galuh Liku who also loves Prince Inu. This is what puts their love to the test, and the story of this pair of lovers is then immortalized through traditional dance with the play Panji Semirang which is usually performed at the temple.

Legong Dance

Legong dance is a traditional dance originating from Bali. This dance reflects the grace, beauty and skill of Balinese dancers. In general, this dance will be performed during traditional ceremonies or when welcoming tourist guests. Initially, this dance was intended for religious events and could not be separated from Hindu Palace culture and Hindu Dharma.

Legong is a group of classical Balinese dances that have a fairly complex repertoire of movements and are tied to an accompanying percussion structure which is said to be the influence of gambuh. The word Legong itself comes from the words “leg” which means flexible and flexible dance movements, and “gong” which means gamelan. So, the word “legong” in this case means dance movements that are tied to the gamelan that accompanies it. The gamelan used to accompany the Legong Dance is called Gamelan Semar Pagulingan.

Then the Legong Dance was developed in the palaces in Bali since the 19th century. Reportedly, the idea for the Legong Dance started with a prince from Sukawati who was still seriously ill, dreaming of seeing two graceful dancing girls accompanied by a beautiful gamelan. When the prince recovered from his illness, his dream was translated into a dance repertoire with a complete gamelan.

Because according to its origins, the new Legong dancers are two girls who have not menstruated. Then danced under the light of the full moon in the palace yard. The two dancers are called legong, which is always equipped with a fan as a tool.

Then in some Legong dances there is an additional dancer called a leaning who is not equipped with a fan. He has a dance structure consisting of papeson, pecet, and pakaad.

As time progressed, Legong Dance lost its popularity at the beginning of the 20th century due to the rise of the Kebyar Dance form originating from the northern part of Bali. Then a new revitalization effort was carried out which began in the late 1960s by excavating old documents to reconstruct and restore the glory of the Legong Dance.

Kecak Dance

Kecak Dance is a traditional dance drama performance from the island of Bali. Kecak dance performances are very popular with both domestic and foreign tourists visiting Bali. Reporting from the Gramedia page, the Kecak Dance was created by a Balinese artist named Wayan Limbak.

Initially the Kecak Dance performance could only be found in one place, such as in Bona Village, Gianyar Regency. Then in 1930, the Kecak Dance was introduced to various countries. This was thanks to Wayan Limbak who was assisted by a painter from Germany named Walter Spies.

In terms of meaning, the Kecak Dance created in local traditions has a deep meaning, namely a sense of belief in God’s power. This is reflected in the prayer ritual at the beginning and end of the dance, as well as in the movement when Rama asks the Gods for help to defeat Ravana.

Meanwhile, the Kecak Dance storyline depicts loyalty and sacrifice when Rama wants to save Shinta. The Kecak dance is a type of colossal dance that involves 50 to 150 dancers. The storyline of the Kecak Dance is taken from the Sanghyang tradition and part of the Ramayana story.

The movements of the Kecak dancers will begin with the entry of the male dancers who sit in a circle. Then it continues with a dance drama about the struggle of Rama, Hanoman’s troops and the Garuda bird to save Shinta from the figure of Ravana.

During each change of dancers in each scene, the dancers sitting in a circle will raise both hands and shout “cak cak ke cak cak ke” which later became the origin of the name of this dance.

and there are still many unique and distinctive Balinese dances that have their own storylines.

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