Dances in Bali’s tradition goes much beyond you can imagine. It integrates play, portrayed in the form of dance and songs and Hindu traditions.Bali’s rich Indonesian island has lots of dance festivals, including different dance types, solemn and some elegant, others being bold. Most of these forms involve any martial art techniques or legs, graceful hand, and finger movements, eyes open. Dances such as Wali, Bebali, and the Barong Dance are inherent to Balinese culture and constitute an essential part of Balinese people’s lives. Read on to learn more about these dance kinds!

All in all, the traditional dance Bali meant to give you a holistic comprehension of Bali’s culture. Keep Reading to know more.

  1. Sacred Dances of Bali – Wali Dance

Bali’s dances can be dated back into the 8th-14th centuries when dances were performed at functions in temple ceremonies. Trained dancers allowed in this temple’s inner sanctum and not be revealed to tourists perform these dances. These act as a spiritual symbol presented to the Gods as an abstract offering. The dancers are said to be in a trance or possessed by the Gods.

  1. Semi-Sacred Dances of Bali – Bebali Dance

Performed during rituals, the source of those Balinese dances can be dated back into centuries. These have a narrative and characters. Semi-sacred dances still retain their values, although open to watch as part of their amusement. These can again be found at the temple chemicals.

  1. Entertainment Dances of Bali – Balih-Balihan

The amusement dances of Bali are specially performed for tourist entertainment purposes. They revolve around a storyline that could be a modern romance or a mythical tale, the latter being the more popular among tourists as it defines traditional Hindu civilization. You can discover these across venues in Bali, not being limited to temples.

  1. Balinese Dance Involving the Giant Lion – Barong Dance

Following Balinese mythology, Barong is popularly known as the “King of Spirits,” the “Lord of the Forest,” or the “Magical Protector” of the villages of Bali. The Barong Dance in Bali depicts the never-ending fight between goodness, portrayed by Barong dressed in a massive Lion costume, and wicked, described from the demonic witch Rangda.

  1. Balinese Dance Drama — with Face and Expressive Movements – Legong Dance

The Legong dance is derived from the story of when a king discovers a lost maiden Rangkesari and keeps her captive. It involves sophisticated movements of feet and palms, and romantic facial expressions performed by very well trained dancers.


  1. The Balinese Fire Dance – Kecak Dance

Known among tourists, the most Balinese Dance Kecak is a ritual. Performed primarily by men who dance and sing acapella, this dance originated as a form of entertainment in the 1930s. The performers are often shirtless, with only one piece of cloth in their waist.

  1. Balinese Dance to Significant Occasions and Celebrate Harvest – Joged Dance

This Balinese dance form is generally performed during harvest, particularly on occasions. The performers invite the audience to join them throughout the dance. The dancing is accompanied by music.

  1. The Mask Dance of Bali – Topeng Dance

The dance is popularly called the “Mask Dance.” The Topeng Dance in Bali involves actors sporting wooden or paper masks. It is performed during large temple ceremonies, and so are dramas that tell tales of human experiences early kingdoms.

Due to the narrative nature of dancing in Bali, it is closely linked to the area’s theatre traditions. They are dubbed ‘dance-dramas.’ There is often an overlap between classes of certain traditions as merely dance or theatre, such as barong, “gambuh,” and “topeng” mentioned before. In reality, the same word “sesolahan” can be used for both art forms. There is no word to get a dancer or actor in the local language; they’re called “tukang” or “individuals who beautify.” If they perform, they’re said to possess distinctive energy called “taksu.”

  1. Balinese Dance Drama Narrating Ramayana – Wayang Wong

The Wayang Wong has been a dance drama that originated from Java, but Wayang Wong quickly spread all over Indonesia. Now Wayang Wong dance is an integral part of the cultures of various islanders. Especially in Bali, Wayang Wong dance draws inspiration from different themes and stories from the renowned Hindu epics Mahabharata or Ramayana. It’s typically performed in Bali and all the Kecak Dancers, adding to the vibrance and vitality of the operation.

  1. Balinese Dance Opera – Arja Dance

This is a dance-opera form of theatre coming in Bali. It draws upon classic texts and famous stories, incorporating dance, dialogues, and vocals. This was a rare art form since it solely used Balinese conversations, and due to this, only locals could comprehend. In recent decades, the art form has evolved to satisfy modern tastes, such as introducing contemporary stories from areas like China and the Middle East, shortening the amount of the exceedingly long functionality, and using non-Balinese dialogues.

Arja performances typically include romantic intrigue and comedy. The guys wear tear robes while the women wear shorts, while their headdresses portray their character’s social status. Characters sporting crown-like headdresses were imperial personalities or high-status people. At the same time, some would wear easy headdresses, some made from cloth.

Are you planning to visit Bali soon? Find out more about Bali, especially about Bali’s culture, by visiting Wonderful Indonesia.

News Reporter