Baris Dance

According to Covarrubias no dance in the world can be manlier than baris. Baris, a traditional war dance, typifies the strong elegance of the male and is the source of for all masculine dances. The Baris dance can be performed by men in pairs of four, eight, sometimes even tens; the accompanying gamelan is the gamelan gong or gamelan gong kebyar. The word “baris” means a line or military formation, in the sense of a line of soldiers, and referred to the warriors who fought for the kings of Bali. Originally, Baris was performed as a religious ritual. The dancer may bear a kris, a spear, a bow, or other weapons, depending on the variant performed. Baris has an exorcizing character and is invariably danced at important temple ceremony. The special characteristics of baris are its elegance moves and complex facial expressions. The movement of baris is synchronized with the tempo of the music and Baris‘s facial expressions show the varieties of soldier mood such as admiration, wonder, surprise, rage, pleasure, tenderness and love.

There are various kinds of Baris dances in Bali which are usually named according to the weapon used in the dance.

BARIS CENDEKAN, The Baris Cendekan uses a weapon called cendek, a kind of short lance. The Baris Cerdekan is found in north Bali and is danced by several pairs of tarunas (young men). They wear everyday clothes and the accompanying music is a kind of angklung orchestra called the gamelan kembang kirang.

BARIS PANAH, This dance uses a military weapon, a bow and arrows, and is danced by tarunas (young men) in north Bali especially in Buleleng and Bangli.

BARIS MEMEDI, Baris memedi is danced by a group of people depicting the movement of spirits (mamedi) which reside in spooky place such as cemetery. The costume is made of leaves and twigs taken from the plants in cemetery. The accompanying music is Gamelan balaganjur. This dance is performed in cremation ceremony in south Bali especially in Tabanan.

BARIS PRESI. Dancers of the Baris Presi carry a presi or shield. This dance is performed by men in pairs on temple ceremony in north Bali especially in Buleleng and Bangli.

BARIS TAMIANG. The Baris Tamiang is a variation of the Baris Presi. The dancers carry a tamiang or shield, and dance in pairs. This dance can be found in south Bali especially in Badung.

BARIS DADAP. A very poignant and slow Baris compare to the other Baris. The Baris Dadap uses a weapon called a dadap, a canoe-like shield. In north Bali, the Baris Dadap is danced in a temple ceremony especially in >Bangli, Buleleng, and Gianyar. In west Bali especially in Tabanan, Baris Dadap is performed in cremation ceremony. The accompanying music may be the gamelan kembang kirang. The dancers sing as well.

BARIS GOWAK. Baris Gowak is danced in pairs a group acts as soldier and the other group acts as Guwak (Crow) which brings death. This dance portrays the battle of Tegal Badeng (Badung) soldiers against Guwak (Crow). In north Bali this dance is performed in temple ceremony. This dance is considered as a sacred dance by people of Selulung (Kintamani -Bangli).

BARIS TUMBAK. The Baris Tumbak is danced in pairs the weapon being a lance with imitation of armor costume. It is performed for temple ceremony in south Bali.

BARIS GEDE. The Baris Gede is a Baris dance with a long lance, danced by a great number of men in pairs usually five or six pairs. Baris Gede is performed in temple ceremony, can be found all over of Bali.

BARIS JOJOR. The Baris Jojor is a Baris dance with a long handled lance as its weapon. This dance is performed in temple ceremony in north Bali.

BARIS BAJRA. The Baris Bajra is a Baris dance in which the dancers use a gada (club) as their weapon. This dance is performed in temple ceremony in north Bali especially in Bangli and Buleleng.

BARIS KETEKOK JAGO. Dancer brings black and white check-board patterned lance, and clothes with same color. This dance is performed in cremation ceremony in south Bali especially in Badung and Denpasar. A similar dance in Buleleng is called Baris Bedug while in Gianyar is called Baris Poleng.

BARIS BEDIL. The Baris Bedil is danced in pairs the weapon being imitation of rifle made from wood. This dance is performed in temple ceremony in south Bali especially in Badung and Klungkung.

BARIS DEMANG. The Baris Demang is danced by a group of people the weapons being swords, lance, bow and arrow, etc. this dance represents the character of demang (one of many characters in Gambuh play). The Baris Demang can be found in north Bali especially in Buleleng.

BARIS JANGKANG. The Baris Jangkang is danced in pairs the weapon being long lance. This dance is performed in temple ceremony in south Bali especially in Gianyar, Klungkung (nusa penida) and Bangli.

BARIS KELEMET. The Baris Kelemet is danced in pairs the weapon being a paddle. This dance represents the activities of fisherman. Baris Kelemet is performed in temple ceremony in south Bali especially in Badung.

BARIS KUNING. The Baris Kuning is danced in pairs; the dancers are men in yellow clothes, and weapons being kris and shields. This dance is performed in temple ceremony in north Bali especially in Buleleng.

BARIS GAYUNG. The Baris Gayung is danced by a group of people consist of priests carrying gayung or cantil (holy water container), This dance is performed in temple ceremony in south Bali especially in Badung, Bangli, and Gianyar.

BARIS TENGKLONG. The Baris Tengklong is danced by a group of people the weapon being a sword. It has a dynamic and elegant movement similar to Pencak Silat (Indonesian Matial art) movement. This dance is performed in temple ceremony in Penambangan Badung temple, in Denpasar.

BARIS CINA. The Baris Cina is danced by 18 dancers the weapon being a saber. This dance has unique costume, trouser, shirt, sarong shawl, black spectacles and hat. The dance movement imitates the artistic motion of martial art “Pencak Silat”. The accompanying music is Gong Beri (gong without snout). This dance is performed in temple ceremony in south Bali especially in Khayangan Tiga Temple, Renon village and Belanjong, Sanur (Denpasar).

baris cina

BARIS PENDET. The Baris Pendet is danced in pairs carrying an offering (canang sari) and a fan. This dance is performed in temple ceremony in south Bali especially in Tanjung Bungkak village, Denpasar.

BARIS CEREKUAK. Baris Cerekuak is danced by a group of people depicting the movement of a group of water bird (cerekuak) when searching for their lover. The accompanying music is Batel Gaguntangan. The dancers use a simple cloth with leaves all over their body. This dance is performed in cremation ceremony (Ngaben) in south Bali especially in Tabanan.

BARIS KUPU-KUPU. Baris Kupu-kupu is danced by a group of people imitating the movement of butterfly (kupu-kupu). This dance can be found in south Bali especially in Renon and Lebah village (Denpasar).

BARIS MELAMPAHAN. The Baris dances described above do not tell a story, but the Baris Melampahan is a dance-drama. In the Baris Melampahan heroic strories, usually those from the epic Mahabharata are danced. The distinctive feature of the Baris Melampahan” is that the protagonists wear costumes usually worn in the Baris. Dance, and that they dance the Baris dance style. One wellknown Baris malampahan presents the Arjunawiwaha story. It is not considered a sacred dance, however.


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