Traditional Arts Builds Nations Characteristics

No days in Bali without sound of gamelan and lively dance movements.

The sound of traditional music is like the pulse of Island of Gods.

Dance is like the life rhythm. Various dance expressions are performed in a religious ritual, culture and custom activities as well as other social events is also held particularly for tourists.

Dancing is not only done by beautiful girls and handsome men. In Hindus ritual practiced by Balinese, from old men to children also dance.

“Dancing is an enjoyable pleasure as an offering as well as aesthetic expression. Balinese dance is an important part of Balinese life that is inherited since long time ago until now,” a lecturer of Indonesia Arts Institute (ISI) Denpasar, Kadek Suartaya, said.

The man who was born in Sukawati, Gianyar regency, who is also a multi-talented artist, a dancer, gamelan player, and puppeteer as well as doctor candidate on Culture Analysis in Udayana University explained that before Hindus entered Bali, its primitive people had have kinds of dances used for rejecting disasters (diseases).

That type of arts until now is still seen in the village and mountain area. However, the decline of Majapahit Kingdom on the beginning of XV century had brought blessing to the existence of arts in Bali.

The development of Balinese arts is conducted by artists escape from Java. On the dignity of Bali Kingdom, XV-XIX century, Balinese dances had its golden age by the creation of some dance drama, such as Gambuh dance that is regarded as resource of Balinese dances created afterwards.

As the product of creation, essence, and desire of Balinese people and artist, Balinese dance is entirely tightened by Hindu Bali cultural values.

Kadek Suartaya said that based on Sacred and Profane Dances Seminar on 1971, Balinese people classified their dances into three types, they are Wali, Bebali, and Balih-balihan dances.

Wali dances are dances that are used for sacred purposes, they are only performed at a place, time, and situation that is regarded as the holy ones.

Bebali dances are ceremonial dances that are performed to complete religious rituals, whereas balih-balihan dances are performances which are secular, to be performed in a profane area, stage, or any special places for entertaining tourists.

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