Traditional dances of Indonesia, 2016.
If you’re planning a trip to Bali, make sure to add traditional Balinese dance in Ubud to your itinerary! This mesmerizing dance performance is a unique experience that showcases the stunning costumes, graceful dancers, and intense drama conveyed through facial expressions.
Traditional dances of Indonesia
The dances are rooted in Balinese history and culture, with many of them connected to religious rituals and beliefs. One of the most popular dances is the Kecak dance, which depicts the battle between Rangda, the witch, and Barong, the lion or dragon. Unlike Western stories where good triumphs over evil, this dance often ends in reconciliation between the two forces.
Other dances include the Legong dance, which originated as royal entertainment in the 19th century, and the Barong animal mask dance, which tells the story of the eternal battle between good and evil. In 2015, UNESCO recognized three traditional Balinese dance genres as Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The Kecak dance is especially mesmerizing with its fire and chanting male performers. With roots in exorcism dance, it is often performed in temples and villages and features over 150 performers on stage. Meanwhile, the Legong dance showcases intricate footwork, finger movements, and facial expressions.
Whether you’re a history buff, a culture lover, or simply enjoy a good performance, the traditional Balinese dance in Ubud is an experience not to be missed. So, make sure to add it to your Bali bucket list!
Where to see performances
Fortunately, there are many places where you can see these captivating performances. From the epic stories of the Mahabharata and Ramayana to the enchanting movements of the Legong dance, you can witness the unique blend of drama, music, and storytelling that make Balinese dance a feast for the senses.
One of the best places to catch a Legong dance performance is at the Ubud Palace, where shows are held every evening and on certain mornings. With tickets costing only IDR 100,000 (6 euros), it’s a steal for a 90-minute show. Just arrive at least 30 minutes early to get a seat and perhaps the best view of the show.
For those looking for the Kecak dance, head to the Uluwatu Temple where performances are held every day between 6pm-7 pm. Cafe Lotus, on the other hand, offers nightly shows of various dance performances except for Fridays. If you’re an early bird, head over to Batubalan Art Village at 9:30 am, where you can watch the Balinese version of the Mahabharata.
Finally, to learn more about Balinese dance, tradition, and culture, visit the ARMA Museum. This museum provides a comprehensive overview of the island’s history, art, and culture, emphasizing dance. So, whether you’re a history buff or a lover of the arts, catching a traditional Balinese dance performance is an experience you won’t forget.
Getting to Ubud
Ubud is a town located in the central region of Bali, Indonesia. It is famous for its traditional arts, rice paddies, temples, and cultural events. If you are planning to visit Ubud, there are several transportation options available to get there.
By Air: The nearest airport to Ubud is Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali. Once you arrive at the airport, you can take a taxi or a private car to Ubud. Depending on traffic, the drive usually takes about an hour and a half.
By Bus: If you’re on a budget, you can take a public bus from the Ubung bus terminal in Denpasar to Ubud. The fare is relatively cheap, but the journey may be uncomfortable and may take longer than other transportation options.
By Taxi or Private Car: Taxis and private cars are available all over Bali. This option is more expensive than public transportation but more comfortable and convenient. You can negotiate the price before getting into the taxi or car.
By Motorbike: Motorbike rental is available in Bali, and it is a popular way to explore the island. You can rent a motorbike and drive to Ubud on your own. However, be aware that the traffic in Bali can be chaotic, and driving can be dangerous if you are not experienced.
By Shuttle Bus: Many hotels and guesthouses offer shuttle buses from the airport or other tourist areas in Bali to Ubud. This option is convenient and comfortable, but it may be more expensive than other transportation options.
Getting to Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu Temple is located on the southern coast of Bali, about 30 kilometers southwest of the island’s main tourist hub, Kuta. Here are some ways to get to Uluwatu Temple:
Private car or taxi: You can hire a private car or taxi from anywhere in Bali to take you to Uluwatu Temple. This option provides the most convenience, but it can be expensive, especially if you are traveling alone.
Scooter rental: If you are comfortable riding a scooter, you can rent one from most major tourist areas in Bali and make your way to Uluwatu Temple. This option is relatively cheap and provides more flexibility, but keep in mind that the roads can be challenging and traffic can be heavy.
Join a tour: Many tour operators in Bali offer day trips to Uluwatu Temple. This option can be cost-effective, and you will have the convenience of a knowledgeable guide and transportation included.
Public transportation: If you are on a tight budget, you can take public transportation to Uluwatu Temple. From Kuta or Denpasar, you can take a bemo (a shared minibus) to Nusa Dua and then take another bemo to Uluwatu Temple. This option can be time-consuming and a bit confusing, but it is the most affordable way to get to the temple.
Hope that you liked the Traditional dances of Indonesia. No matter which option you choose, make sure to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to enjoy stunning Bali. To read more about Indonesia, click HERE.