Barong Dance: A Sacred Balinese Dance

Balinese Barong Dance in Indonesia – Tari Barong or Barong Dance is one of the Indonesian traditional dances that use masks and costumes as the embodiment of the creatures that are believed by Balinese people.

According to Balinese belief, Barong Dance is considered sacred art, so there is also a mystical impression in the movement and performances.

Barong Dance is a traditional dance that is quite famous in Bali, as well as Kecak Dance. Besides for having artistic values, Barong Dance also has the spiritual meanings in the dance movements. So, keep reading the article that provides the history, mythology, schedules, ticket prices and the location to watch Barong performances. (Capture Indonesia)

History of Barong Dance

The origin of Barong Dance is still not known for certain, but there are several historical versions that tell about the history of the early formation of this Barong Dance. The first version of Hindu mythology explains that ‘Barong’ is taken from the word ‘Bahruang’ in Sanskrit which is an animal considered to possess supernatural powers and is considered a protector of goodness.

Another version mentions, Barong Dance was originally a manifestation of the ruler of the unseen nature in Bali. At that time the Balinese people use this Barong Dance to ward off the disturbance of supernatural beings. Although many versions mention the history of Barong Dance, the Balinese people still believe that Barong Dance is a legacy of ancestors who are considered sacred and have spiritual values in the dance.

The Mythology of Barong

Meanwhile, the mythological element lies in the source of the story from a pre-Hindu tradition that believes the Barong as a mythological animal that protects the good. The mythological element also appears in the manufacture of Barong costumes made of the wood base material in places that are considered haunted, such as the grave.

Tari Barong - Barong Dance

Tari Barong – Credit:

This mythological element that makes Barong sacred by the Balinese. In addition, Barong Dance is also often interspersed with Keris Dance (Debus show), where the dancers thrust the kris into their bodies like a show of debus.

The Attractions of Barong

Barong Dance is in addition to its sacred nature can also be entertainment for the community. Barong Dance performing as part of the ceremony at Pura or temple, usually done seriously. Because it deals with the spiritual meaning that exists, so it is done sacredly.

While the Barong Dance that appears for entertainment, usually interspersed with funny scenes. In addition, there is also the attractive appearance of dancers such as debus performances (unharmed to sharp weapons) that amazed the audience.

In the Barong show, dancers wear costumes and masks that depict the form of an animal or a giant that is believed to be a protector. In Bali, there are several types of Barong art commonly displayed such as Barong Ket, Barong Bangkal, Barong Gajah, Barong Asu, Barong Brutuk, Barong Landung, Barong Macan and Barong Kedingkling.

Each type of barong is certainly has a story and with a different way of dancing. But the most often shown for the tourists is Barong Ket, because it has a full costume and complete dance moves. In this barong dance, dance movements are displayed in a traditional drama or story that tells about the eternal struggle between good and evil.

This Barong Ket dance is usually performed with a humorous interlude that can keep the audience entertained. It was also accompanied by Balinese gamelan that made the show more festive and more lively. At a glance, Barong Ket is not much different from the Barongsai (lion dance) performed by Chinese people.

However, the story that is played in this show is different, that is the story of the fight between Barong and Rangda equipped with other figures, such as Kera (friend of Barong), Dewi Kunti, Sadewa (child of Kunti), and Rangda followers.

Where to Watch?

Where can tourists watch the Barong show in Bali? There are two places that are very famous for this dance, namely in Batubulan and Ubud. The details are as follows.


The tourists can watch the Barong dance performances in Bali in Batubulan for every day. Batubulan is an art village located in Sukawati, Gianyar and this village is one of the famous art tourist attractions in Bali.

Schedule – The schedule of Barong performances in Batubulan village is held daily, from 09:00 AM – 10:00 AM. Try to be in the location of Barong dance performances at 08:30 AM to find a good sitting spot.

If you stay or depart from Kuta Bali, to go to Batubulan Gianyar will take about 40 minutes, with a distance of 33 kilometers through Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai. Batubulan has 3 locations to watch Barong shows, namely:

  1. Barong Dance Group & Kecak Sila Budaya that located on Jalan Batu Raya Moon, Sukawati, Gianyar.
  2. Barong & Kris Sahadewa Dance Group that located on Jalan SMKI, Batubulan, Sukawati, Gianyar.
  3. Barong Dance Group & Kris Dance Jambe Budaya that located on Jalan Pasekan, Batu Batu Gang, Batubulan, Sukawati, Gianyar.

Ticket Prices – All Batubulan barong dance tickets from each dance group are IDR 100.000 for one person.


In addition to Batubulan, Barong performances are also found in Ubud. But in Ubud, there are no Barong dance performances every day. Barong schedule and tickets prices  in Ubud are:

  • Monday: Sandi Swara Wantilan that starts from 7.00 PM to 8.30 PM – Ticket: IDR 75.000*
  • Wednesday: in Puri Saren Ubud that starts from 7.30 PM to 9.00 PM – Ticket: IDR 80.000*
  • Thursday: Pura Dalem Ubud that starts from 7.30 PM to 9.00 PM – Ticket: IDR 50.000*
  • Friday: Puri Saren Ubud that starts from 7.30 PM to 9.00 PM – Ticket: IDR 80.000*

*Note: Ticket prices for the Barong show in Ubud, can change at any time.