Taking in a performance of Balinese traditional dance, steeped in spirituality and romance, is the perfect activity for those who love art.
Ubud, in Bali, is famous as a centre of art and culture. From beautiful traditional paintings to gamelan music and Balinese dance, Ubud is a magnet for tourists in search of a true Balinese cultural experience. Three of the most popular dance performances are the Barong, Kecak and Legong. And one of the best places in Bali to see classical Balinese Legong is Balerung, presented by the Tirta Sari Peliatan dance troupe.
Tirta Sari is an important cultural centre with a mission to preserve the classical dance and music of Bali. The performance centre is set within a local neighbourhood, a welcome change from other performance venues located in more touristy area. The venue seats about 50 and it is a good idea to book your tickets in advance. The stage is large and looks like the entrance to a palace, with one side dominated by the instruments that will be played during the dance performance. The dancer’s eyes and body movements are truly wonderful; the performance is almost mythical. There are more than six different dances performed during the show. My favourite was the Puspa Mekar dance (Welcome dance), with the six female dancers in complete Balinese outfits and makeup, sprinkling flowers on the audience.
Jl. Peliatan 1, Balerung Stage, Ubud
Bali – Indonesia
Text and photos by Dennis Latif