Set to the Gong Kebyar - an orchestra formed by a group of gamelan
instruments (musical instruments with five notes forged from copper
and bronze) and various metal gongs and symbols. The Barong dance
is the classic story of good (The Barong) triumphing over evil (
The evil witch Rangda). The Barong is a large lion type creature
played by two men, Rangda is the epitome of evil with long fingernails
and droopy breasts. The Barong is going about his business until
he is interrupted by Rangda. Ultimately a battle ensues and the
Barongs followers begin attacking Rangda with their Keris
(daggers). Rangda, being a witch, is able to use magical powers
to turn the daggers against their owners, who fall into a trance
and try to stab themselves. The Barong, also having magical powers,
protects his followers from harm and Rangda retreats into the forest
to rest and prepare for the next battle. The intensity of the Barong's
followers in their attempts to stab themselves is really quite frightening
and the trance is usually very real - and there is always a priest
on hand to revive the dancers with holy water.
Where to see the Barong Dance:
Batu Tegal, Batubulan. Daily 9:30 a.m.
Puri Saren, Ubud. Fridays 6:30 p.m.