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Balinese Dance

Bali, Indonesia, Asia: A Balinese dancer performs a traditional Legong sequence
Indonesia's insider take:

Bali's distinctive, highly stylized form of traditional dance, which evolved from ancient Hindu rites, is one of the island's most dazzling cultural displays. The best way to see it is in its ritual setting; ask at your hotel if there are any performances scheduled at nearby temples. Visitors are welcome to attend, so long as they observe protocol of dress and respectful conduct (which your hotel concierge or your Balinese host can explain for you). Dance programs staged at resorts and public theaters are also worthwhile.

There's an impressive variety of specific Balinese dances. Some, like the popular Kecak, feature male performers; in this particular dance, there can be 50 or more who chant and sway as a scene from the Hindu epic Ramayana is acted out. Other dances, like the extremely refined and oft-photographed Legong, are performed by costumed young girls in slow, graceful pantomime. Still others portray animals and mythical creatures—such as the Barong-Rangda cycle, which enacts the conflict between an evil witch and a shaggy, bug-eyed imaginary beast rather like a Chinese dragon. Don't pass up an opportunity to see the rarely performed Oleg Tambulilingan, a sexy virtuoso duet depicting a randy male bumblebee courting a coy lady bee.

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