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Sacred Dances  

by on Thursday, 18 May 20062 Comments | 1,652 views

There are several dances which are considered more sacred that others: Rejang, Pasutri, Mendet, Baris Gede and Topeng Pajegan. These are usually performed in the innermost courtyard (Jeroan) of temple. Part of what makes “sacred” is that there is little on no rehearsal of the forms; they are performed for the deities and it is not the compactness of the form that takes precedence in the ritual, but the actual presence of the form.

In the Samuan Tiga Temple of Bedulu, older women called Permas dance Rejang to help purify the temple area.


Baris Gede or “great warrior” dance is the male equivalent of Rejang. Carrying weapons, a group of men dance in the front of the shrines in a mock warrior show of strength. In the Batur mountain area, dozens of types of Baris Gede are often performed in the middle of afternoon at specific full moon festivals.

The function of Baris Gede dances is to enrich and complete ceremony. The most important variants are Baris Tumbak, enacting a battle with long lances.




Baris Dadap, a very poignant and slow Baris done by six dancers carrying a small half-canoe like object with spurs on one end; they sing from a Kidung as well.


Baris Presi, with dancers carrying a shield and dagger.



Editor’s Note
See map of Batur and surroundings.

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    • Don Bennett said:

      WOW, the depth of the Balinese culture is astouding. Here we see layers of variations of the dance. Other dimensions are in the musical variations ( often accompanying the dances ). I can’t wait for our next trip, in Aug, to see/hear/feel some of these artistic renditions in the pristine “outdoor” environment.

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