Bali. Cerimonial Night

When night falls people from Pengosekan gather at the temple Pura Penataram Dalem to celebrate its anniversary. It’s a sacred and magnificient celebration, called Odalan, wich take place every 210 days. The Pura Dalem is the temple of the dead, where cremation ceremonies are held. But the video shows no funeral on the temple premises, only joy and fun. At the beginning we see the entrance of the Barongs at the campound of the temple. The Barongs are the most sacred criatures on the Balinese mythology. Balinese Barongs come in many forms, but the most common is like a baroque Chinese lion, the Barong Ket, with big eyes and clacking jaws. It is one of the most sacred masks in Bali. Probably every village has at least one. The Barong is accompanied by a Balinese gamelan orchestra. The Barong protects the village from harmful influences. It parades the streets every Galungan festival, dancing in front of houses and shops, warding off evil. The Balinese bow in reverence. It does the same just before Nyepi, the Balinese New Year. Two men are inside: one operates the wooden head and lower movable jaw, and the other holds up the back and arched tail. No special qualifications for the men, but they must belong to the same banjar as the Barong. And the need to be stout as the whole Barong Ket costume weighs about 85 kilos. The front is heavy and the dancer will need to be relieved during long processions.
After the priest blessing the sacred criatures, Barong Macan (Tiger Barong) starts dancing, at 00:56. [From the beginning to the end of Barong Macan Dance the music -playing strings and flutes- is simply wonderful: highly recommended listening with attention]. When Barong dance ends, a man dancing Jauk Manis appears [03:57]. Jauk dance is a classical solo performance expressing the movements of a demon. Jauk is derived from a traditional play in which all the dancers, wearing frightening masks of the raksasa or demon type, recreate episodes from the Kawi versions of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, like the dance Baris. Jauk is considered a difficult dance. The dancer aim is to express the character revealed in the appearance of the mask: strong, powerful personality. Unlike the Baris dancer, a Jauk performer cannot rely on facial expressions to convey feeling. He is obliged to express his demoniac exuberance through his gestures alone. The round, protruding eyes and tentacle like fingernails are the marks of identification for a demon. The Jauk dancers movements closely resemble those of the Baris, but his manner is more exaggerated and violent. Suddenly he lunges, the music becomes frenetic with loud, clashing sounds, he spins to reach the perimeter of the stage: then stops, precise and controlled. Slowly, he retreats, as if preoccupied by dark, treacherous thoughts. When Jauk dance finishes appear on the video two man playing Lawak Bali [07:10], a sort of comedy very appreciated for all audiences. Both adults and children enjoy watching the men acting like clowns. Finally, we see a bit of Barong Ket dance [08:56]. Barong Ket is the most sacred Balinese creature. With a fragment of this dance the video ends. The musicians playing gongs, strings, drums, flutes and xylophon instruments (Gamelan Orchestra) are members of sanggar Çudamani, from the village of Pengosekan. Çudamani Group is one of the most finest and prestigious artistic ensembles in Bali. Enjoy the images and have fun.

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