Barong is probably the most well known dance. It is also
another story telling dance, narrating the fight between
good and evil. This dance is the classic example of Balinese
way of acting out mythology, resulting in myth and history
being blended into one reality.
The story goes that Rangda, the mother of Erlangga, the
King of Bali in the tenth century, was condemned by Erlangga's
father because she practiced black magic. After she became
a widow, she summoned all the evil spirits in the jungle,
the leaks and the demons, to come after Erlangga. A fight
occurred, but she and her black magic troops were too strong
that Erlangga had to ask for the help of Barong. Barong
came with Erlangga's soldiers, and fight ensued. Rangda
casted a spell that made Erlangga soldiers all wanted to
kill themselves, pointing their poisoned keris into their
own stomachs and chests. Barong casted a spell that turned
their body resistant to the sharp keris. At the end, Barong
won, and Rangda ran away.
Somebody can die or get seriously injured in a Barong dance.
It is said that if Rangda's spell is too strong, a weak
soldier may not be able to resist it, even with the help
of Barong. He may end up hurting himself with his own keris.
The masks of Barong and Rangda are considered sacred items,
and before they are brought out, a priest must be present
to offer blessings by sprinkling them with holy water taken
from Mount Agung, and offerrings must be presented.
scheduled dance performances are available throughout