As explained to us by our guide the Balinese people have several different types of dance; from educational, traditional, entertainment and religious. Of the religious dances they have a few different types, one them being magical. The Barong dance is considered magical, as it has fantasy beasts in it, that do not really exist. There is a stage for the musicians set up on the left and they play music all throughout the performance. The below is taken of a pamphlet we were given to explain the dance.
The Barong play represents an eternal fight between good and evil spirits. A Barong (a mythological animal) represents the good spirit and Rangda (a mythological monster) represent an evil one.
The dance starts with a musical overture. Followed by his friend the monkey, the tiger comes up. Three masked dancers appear, representing man making palm wine in the forest whose child is killed by the tiger. The three men get angry and attack the tiger which is helped by the monkey. During the fight, the nose of one of the three men is bitten off.
The girl dancers appear, representing the servants of the Rangda. They are looking for the servants of Dewi Kunti who are on the way to meet Patih (Prime Minister).
The servants of Dewi Kunti come. One of the servants of the Rangda changes into a witch and enters both the servants to make them angry. The meet their Patih and go together to Dewi Kunti.
Dewi Kunti and her Son, Sahadewa come up. Dewi Kunti has promised Rangda to sacrifice Sahadewa. A witch appears and enters Dewi Kunti. She becomes angry and orders Patih to bring Sahadewa into the forest. The Patih is also entered by a witch so he does not have pity on Sahadewa, Sahadewa is then taken into a forest and tied up to a tree.
Unknown by the Rangda, God Siwa appears and gives Sadahewa immortality. The Rangda appears, ready to kill Sahadewa and eat him up, but Sahadewa is still alive. She then surrenders and asks him to redeem her, Sahadewa agrees and hills the Rangda. The Rangda goes to Heaven.
One of the servants of the Randga called Kalika comes up before Sahadewa and asks him to redeem her too. Sahadewa refuses. Kalika gets angry and changes into a boar and rights Sahadewa. The bird can be defeated, so she changes into a bird but is defeated again. At last, she changes into Rangda. Sahadewa cannot kill her. In such circumstances. Sahadewa meditates and then he changes himself into a Barong. Still, the Rangda seems to be too powerful and the fight is unending. Followers of the Barong appear and help him to fight the Rangda.
There are so many different dances, but this was the only one we got time to see, I hope you have enjoyed this post, as much as we enjoyed the performance.