One of the highlights in Bali was catching a couple of Balinese dance performances. This expressive ancient traditional dance involves synchronize intricate movement with the fingers, feet, face and even the eyes.
Through the different types of dance movements, performers decked out in colorful costumes and elaborate headdressess reenact epic tales from Hindu mythology involving kidnapping, talking monkey armies, and big toothy demons.
The dance performances took place in the open courtyard of a temple and were surprisingly casual as audience members came and went as they pleased.
The first evening in Ubud, we caught a show at the Ubud Palace featuring two stories in dance: Barong and Legong. The costumes, music and dance were awesome. Both had heroic epic storylines that told of the never ending struggle between good and evil.
The second show was at a different temple where we had front row seat to watch the Kecak Monkey Trance dance. This dance reenacts part of the Ramayana story where the goddess Sita is kidnapped by King Ravana and saved by the Monkey King and his army. This was way different from the previous night’s dance performance with the musicians being replaced by maybe 50 chanting men sitting in a circle around the dancers. They and the dancers were perfectly coordinated and made for a great experience.