One of the great attractions, and that are really worthwhile in Bali, and more specifically in the city of Ubud, is to go to a Balinese dance show.
There are several performances every day in different parts of the city, and if you are still wondering, or do it later, those who go to these dances are the tourists who appear in Ubud. I think it is worth seeing, as it is a representation of its culture. You might feel like a Japanese watching a flamenco show.
What is Balinese dance?
Well, this is the first question you might ask yourself. It is quite likely that you have seen on different occasions images of dancers dressed in the most exotic costumes. Very makeup and in strange positions, where his fixed gaze and the position of hands and fingers caught your attention.
Well, they are part of the cast of dancers, interpreters of these Balinese dances.
It should be noted that there are several Balinese dances that you can attend in Ubud. We went to see a performance of the dance Barong bangkal.
Other dances that you can see are the Kecak, where at least one hundred men represent a perfectly coordinated, spectacular dance, where the only sound is the “chack chack chack” that they repeat constantly, but with different rhythms and intensities. They all follow the indications of a man who is the one who sets the rhythm, sound and movement. They represent mythological stories.
The truth is that this dance is spectacular due to the coordination of all those who participate in it. You can see a video of this dance below, it will surely make your hair stand on end.
If you want to see this dance, you can book early to enjoy this magic at sunset at the Uluwatu temple.
The dance of the Legong, represents various stories, based on the beauty and tranquility of Ubud. First, some dancers go into a trance, then a demon comes out giving free rein to the movements, and finally, a love story between a prince and a princess is represented.
This is the dance that we saw. And one of the most important parts was given by the Gamelan. The Gamelan is the group of musicians and their instruments that give rhythm and intensity to the dancers’ movements. Without them, everything would be less intense.
The instruments that a Gamelan has are string instruments, gongs, xylophones and bamboo flutes, it is possible that I will leave some more in the inkwell.
The Barong Bangkal dance represents the fight between good and evil. A very represented fight and very present in many Asian cultures. Animism and Hinduism are believed to be the origins of this dance. The aim is to maintain the balance of forces, always defeating evil.
The Barong is the king of good, a character with the head of a lion, and Rangda is a widow who is dedicated to creating curses and spells so that evil takes the power of everything.
There are other more secondary characters such as dancers, soldiers, and even a very playful and a little mischievous monkey.
Although for a moment it seems that Rangda is going to dominate with his evil over all, finally Barong is able to defeat Rangda, and make good prevail over evil.
So that you can follow the whole story and find out what is happening, when you enter the theater where the dance is performed, they will give you a triptych. In it, you can read who is who and the different acts what they represent.
Is it worth going to see a Balinese dance show?
Well really yes. I would return, and try another dance, perhaps the Kecak. In the end, although the attendance to this type of dance is almost exclusively by tourists, it is still a representation of Balinese culture and tradition.
They put it in value, they show it to you, and since you are there, what less than trying to understand that culture a little better.
Where can I buy tickets to see Balinese dance?
Well you can buy tickets, either in the theater where it is staged, or in the center, near the Ubud Palace, there are usually ticket sellers, make sure that the one you buy is real. The theater where we went is on Jalan Monkey Forest Street, next to a soccer field. But there are more places where the different Balinese dances are performed, the most popular is the Ubud Palace, also the busiest.
Although if you prefer to go with the ticket already purchased and avoid looking for tickets in Ubud, you can book your ticket for Batubulan, the people who are experts in this dance and enjoy this unique show.
How much does it cost to see Balinese dance?
It is not expensive, prices are usually around 80,000 – 120,000 rupees, between 7 and 10 euros.
So, you have no excuse not to go to one of these dances and enjoy the rich Balinese culture.
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Accommodation in Ubud
Accommodation is not particularly cheap in Ubud, but if you search it will be found. Within the wide variety of accommodations such as hostels, hotels and family accommodation or homestay, perhaps the latter is the best option.
One place to stay is on Jalan Kajeng street, right next to the Hans Snel Bungalows, there is a family that runs some bungalows of their property, Shanti Home Stay. They will make you feel at home, with different breakfasts each day.
The complex has three bungalows and the family house, as well as a small family temple, a true wonder in the heart of Ubud.
If you prefer to book accommodation before arriving in Ubud, we leave you this link with other accommodation alternatives, Accommodations in Ubud.
Indonesia travel insurance
When traveling it is always advisable to carry travel insurance, especially if you do it outside of Europe. Situations can always happen in which you have an accident, need a medical transfer or even medications.
We tell you what you have to take into account in a Travel Insurance for Indonesia.
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