The Cordon of Baris Dance Guarding Bali Isle

Bali Island apparently has always escorted by tough and brave soldiers. North Bali guarded by soldiers who are ready to welcoming the enemy attacks with shields or Tamiang.  South Bali is guarding by soldiers armed with spears. East Bali desperately defended by the army with cudgel. West Bali escorted by soldiers with whips.  Central Bali guarded by troops with arrows.  Even the Nusa Penida island also feared by the enemies because it has a long lance armed forces.  Those  patriotic soldier of Bali land still exists until now.

Those past Bali’s soldiers is now metamorphosed into various types of Baris dance which mostly presented in religious rituals. Most of cremation ceremonies in Singaraja commonly accompanied with Baris Presi dance performances.  When the important ceremonies is held in a large temple in Denpasar, mostly complemented by the presentation of Baris Gede dance.  Vow paid ritual in the Nusa Penida community, Klungkung, will feel steady when accompanied with Baris Jangkang dance.  Religious procession in Pura Batur, Kintamani, Bangli, feel solemn with the presence of the Baris Panah dance.  In the past – as royal warrior – war and maintain the security of the region are their obligation, but now in the embodiment of art, the function are strengthen and as an important part of religious ceremonies.

Reputedly, as contained in the Kidung Sunda, Baris dance was known since the Majapahit in 14th century, during the Rajasanegara or Hayam Wuruk reign.  Cremation ceremonies after the war between the Sunda with Majapahit Kingdom, accompanied by the appearance of some kind of Baris dance.  Bali Kingdom dynasty, which then received the direct influence from Majapahit, continue serving the Baris dance in the diverse religious rituals.

In its form as an expression of beauty, diversity of sacred Baris dance that carried out by the Balinese people, exist with their uniqueness, both in the movement terms and in costumes terms as well as the properties. For instance, Baris Jangkang Dance contained in Nusa Penida, wearing a simple all-white dress with three-meter length lance. Its natural movements in a tiptoe and  bent position with sharp eyes really thrilling magical atmosphere.

Although each has its uniqueness, Baris dance presentation in general is in a group with dancing together in a line or row position.  Sacred Baris dance performed by dancers who usually wear tassels costume which are made from fabric, known as Awir and Lelamakan.  The similarity between a line dance with others can also be seen on the cover of his head or cone hat shaped like a pyramid.

Allegedly, Baris Tunggal dance which commonly known in Bali now, adopted the fashion from the sacred Baris dance costume.  Unlike the sacred line dance, Baris Tunggal dance, as the name implies, is a solo danced Baris.  Although belong to profane dances, Baris Tunggal also served in the solemn procession of religious ceremonies.  Baris Tunggal is usually displayed as a creations dance in various art performances. Sacred Baris dance and Baris Tunggal dance are art creativity which as a representation of the dynamics of Balinese culture in a range of time.

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