A great beach on Nusa Lembongan

On the southern end of Nusa Lembongan, there is a beatiful, deserted beach with white sands and crystal-clear ..

Fantastic - Great scenery & interesting insights

We have done several soft adventure bike tours and this was amongst the best - highly recommended.

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Balinese Dance and Drama

Balinese Dance and Drama
The lifestyle of the Balinese people is expressed in their dance. Not only do we learn about the Balinese religion from their dance creations but we can also come to understand the flow of cultural events and activities of their everyday life.
Their dances show Balinese attitudes, how they look at nature, and how they regard their fauna and flora.

The very essence of the Balinese culture is dance and drama, which is performed during temple festivals and ceremonies. The dances performances seen by tourists in hotel shows is only a small fraction of what Balinese dance has to offer.

Balinese dance goes as far back as Balinese written history with much of the heritage originating from Java. Ironically, as a result of the Islamisation of Java, the Javanese culture disappeared but it has survived in Bali and has become part of the classical Balinese culture.

Balinese dance cannot be separated from religion. Even the dances performed for tourists are preceded by many dancers praying at their family shrine for taksu (inspiration) from the gods.

Dance fulfils a number of specific functions. It may be;
- a channel for visiting gods or demons, the dancers acting as a sort of living repository;
- as a welcome for visiting gods;
- entertainment for visiting gods.

The typical posture of Balinese dance has the legs half-bent, the torso shifted to one side with the elbow raised and lowered in a gesture that displays suppleness of the hands and fingers. The torso is shifted in symmetry with the arms. If the arms are to the right, the shifting is to the left and vice-versa.

The Gamelan

Balinese music is based around an instrument known as the gamelan. The gamelan is such a central part of Balinese music that the whole 'orchestra' is also referred to as a gamelan. Gamelan music is almost completely percussion. Though it sounds strange at first with its noisy, jangly percussion it's exciting and enjoyable. Read more about the gamelan...

The Ramayana

The story of the Ramayana greatly inspires the Balinese. Many of their dances are based on this great story which is often depicted in a ballet.

The Balinese version differs from the Indian version. It is told that Rama, as the first son in a family, was the heir to the Ayodya kingdom but the king's second wife, through her treachery, forced the king to crown her own son as the King of Ayodya and to send Rama and his wife into exile.

Because he respects his father, Rama went with his wife, Sita, and his beloved younger brother, Laksmana into a forest called Dandaka. The first act of the ballet usually depicts Rama and his entourage in the heart of the Dandaka forest. Rahwana, the evil King of Alengka, enchanted by the beauty of Sita wants to have her as his concubine. He sends one of his knights, Marica, to tempt Sita by transforming himself into a golden deer. Sita, captivated by curiosity, asks her husband to catch the golden deer.

The next act explains how Rama succeeds in hunting the golden deer but as his arrow strikes the golden deer it transforms back into Marica. Meanwhile Sita hears a distant cry for help. Laksmana, who had been asked by his brother to look after his sister-in-law, tries to explain to Sita that the cry sounds very suspicious. But nevertheless, Sita is convinced that someone is in need of help. She sends Laksmana to look for this person and to help whoever it is. In a desperate attempt, Laksmana asks Sita, no matter what happens, to stay inside the guard circle that he has created.

Rahwana, knowing that Sita was protected by the circle transforms himself into an old priest. He approaches Sita and asks her for a drink. Sita, without hesitation, extends her hands beyond the circle to hand him the water. Rahwana takes the advantage, snatches her hand and takes her to his palace in Alengka. On the way, Rahwana encounters a mighty eagle Jatayu. By every means possible, Jatayu tries to rescue Sita from the evil king but fails and is killed by Rahwana. Rama and Laksmana find the dying Jatayu who tells them the whole story of what had happened to Sita.
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