Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dances of the Inner Temple

-->The genres considered in this article belong to the most sacred (wali) category of Balinese performing arts. They all appear to be of indigenous origin, although later Hindu-Javanese elements can be seen in them as well as the characteristic poses, gestures, and phrases of movement which make up the fundamental vocabulary of movement of Balinese dance. All of these forms belong to what might be called the communal, village-centred aspect of Balinese culture and involve a strong element of audience participation ; the degree of training and basic talent required of the performers are low by Balinese standards. Aesthetic factors, however, are important in some of them. In Gabor, for example, the skill of dancers is as important as the beauty of the offerings presented.
Trance is often present in these genres, and with it there is presumption of possession by divine. Wali Dances are performed in connection with religious rituals, and they are often given in the context of elaborate schedule of festivals of the Hindu-Balinese religious calendar. Some of them are specifically associated with the old-fashioned Bali Aga villages, in which many in old Balinese traditions and practices have been maintained, while others are found in villages throughout the island. The Wali Dances are customarily performed in or originate from the sacred inner temple courtyard, or Jeroan. This is the most sacred temple space, the inner sanctum.

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