Bali Art and Culture
This is a warrior's dance. It is usually performed by men, either solo or in a group of five or more; the dancers try to portray the full range of emotions displayed by a warrior - anger, courage, ferocity and passion. This dance requires great skill, with the artist having to display the whole range of inner emotions main through facial expression.
Barong & Rangda This is basically a story about the struggle between good and evil. Good is personified by the Barong Keket, a strange, fun-loving creature in the shape of a shaggy semi-lion. Evil is represented by Rangda, a witch. Ultimately the two characters engage in battle at which point the Barong's keris-bearing followers rush in to attack Rangda. The witch, however, uses her magical powers to turn the keris knives in, upon their owners, who fall into a trance and start trying to stab themselves.
The Barong then uses magic to protect his followers from the knives. In the end, the Barong triumphs and Rangda retreats to recuperate her strength for the next encounter. All that remains is for a priest to help the keris dancers out of their trance with the help of a little holy water. The Barong & Rangda dance is a very powerful performance and is definitely not taken lightly by those involved.