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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on." -- Samuel Goldwyn

275--Bali: Who's that Masked Man? Balinese Dancers
@ CherieSpotting     Jan 17 2005 - 01:33 PST
cherie writes: Bali is famous for its amazing dances. Each one is a display of extreme color and energy. The town of Batubulan puts on a wild Barong and Rangda dance. The mythical Barong (half dog, half lion) battles the Rangda (a scary thing with great fangs and long hair.)

At night, Margaret and I watched the Kecak & Trance Dance performed by our friend Nyomen’s village. The entire village participates in the weekly dance. The village, made up of about 140 families, is called Desa Pakraman Taman Kaja.

Over a hundred bare-chested men in matching table-cloth skirts circled around a fire and chanted while other masked performers acted out the story from the Hindu epic Ramayana. Nyomen played Rahwana, the demon King who lusts after Sita.

After good conquered evil in the Kecak Dance, we watched a villager perform the Sanghyang Trace Dance. The villager was put under a trance that enabled him to dance on a blazing fire of coconut husks. The kicked the flames up and flew around the fire on a fake horse while the gamelan suara (the bare-chested chanting villagers) threw their arms up in the air and swayed to the beat of their own voices. Margaret and I had front-row seats…after all we knew the star of the show!

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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His feet don't stink!  The mythical Barong dances in a traditional Balinese performance.

His feet don't stink! The mythical Barong dances in a traditional Balinese performance.

And the band plays on.

And the band plays on.

How do you play a drum with a feather?

How do you play a drum with a feather?

The Barong is the good-guy in the Balinese dance.

The Barong is the good-guy in the Balinese dance.

The two men underneath the Barong costume dance wildly around on stage.

The two men underneath the Barong costume dance wildly around on stage.

The musicians beat on.

The musicians beat on.

Taking a rest?

Taking a rest?

The monkey is the Barong's friend.

The monkey is the Barong's friend.

A big fight breaks out with 3 masked attackers.

A big fight breaks out with 3 masked attackers.

The monkey bit his nose off!  Ouch!

The monkey bit his nose off! Ouch!

A servant of Rangda appears.

A servant of Rangda appears.

The dancing servants.

The dancing servants.

I bet those dancing girls smell good.

I bet those dancing girls smell good.

Could that be a Balinese dirty-look?

Could that be a Balinese dirty-look?

One of Dewi Kunti's servants.

One of Dewi Kunti's servants.

The scary Rangda frightens one of Dewi Kunti's servants.

The scary Rangda frightens one of Dewi Kunti's servants.

Not me!

Not me!

The wild dance is a sensation for all the senses.

The wild dance is a sensation for all the senses.

The servants meet Patih and go to meet the Dewi Kunti.

The servants meet Patih and go to meet the Dewi Kunti.

Color explodes on the stage and mesmerizes the audience.

Color explodes on the stage and mesmerizes the audience.

Meeting the Dewi Kunti.  She's not all that.

Meeting the Dewi Kunti. She's not all that.

The evil Rangda is back!

The evil Rangda is back!

Sedewa is tied to a tree to be sacrificed.

Sedewa is tied to a tree to be sacrificed.

A god gives Sadewa the gift of immortality.

A god gives Sadewa the gift of immortality.

The massive evil Rangda enters on stilts.

The massive evil Rangda enters on stilts.

Who knew the wild Rangda could dance so well?

Who knew the wild Rangda could dance so well?

No matter how hard the Rangda tries, he can't kill Sadewa.

No matter how hard the Rangda tries, he can't kill Sadewa.

Maybe this guy needs glasses?

Maybe this guy needs glasses?

Prepare to die.

Prepare to die.

The killing of the boar.

The killing of the boar.

Oh, the pain.

Oh, the pain.

Kalika changes herself into a bird to fight Sadewa.

Kalika changes herself into a bird to fight Sadewa.

Kalika changes herself into the Rangda, and Sadewa changes himself into the Barong.  The big fight of good verses evil begins.

Kalika changes herself into the Rangda, and Sadewa changes himself into the Barong. The big fight of good verses evil begins.

Flowers fall to help the Barong fight the Rangda.

Flowers fall to help the Barong fight the Rangda.

The Rangda puts his men in a trance and they try to commit suicide.

The Rangda puts his men in a trance and they try to commit suicide.

A Barong supporter draws his kris (sword) and tries to thrust it into his own heart.

A Barong supporter draws his kris (sword) and tries to thrust it into his own heart.

Under a trance, the men try to violently kill themselves.

Under a trance, the men try to violently kill themselves.

Cherie and Margaret with the band after the show.

Cherie and Margaret with the band after the show.

Everything was great about the Barong and Rangda show except the toilet.

Everything was great about the Barong and Rangda show except the toilet.

At night, we watch the Kecak Fire Dancers from Pura Dalem Taman Kaja chant for a traditional fire dance.

At night, we watch the Kecak Fire Dancers from Pura Dalem Taman Kaja chant for a traditional fire dance.

The bare-chested choir, called gamelan suara, raises their hands and sways during the performance.

The bare-chested choir, called gamelan suara, raises their hands and sways during the performance.

The girls dance, mirror images of each other.

The girls dance, mirror images of each other.

Rahwana, disguised as an old priest.

Rahwana, disguised as an old priest.

The son of the demon King of Alengka (and our friend Nyomen!)

The son of the demon King of Alengka (and our friend Nyomen!)

The white monkey Hanoman is a good guy, and a friend of Rama.

The white monkey Hanoman is a good guy, and a friend of Rama.

The gamelan suara laying prostrate.

The gamelan suara laying prostrate.

Over one hundred shirtless men chant in unison.

Over one hundred shirtless men chant in unison.