The Balinese are extremely proud of their traditions and culture, which is why Balinese dance and cultural performances are held all over the island every day! And if you want to get to know Bali, you shouldn’t miss these Balinese dance performances:
#1 Kecak at Uluwatu Temple
Locally known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu, this is one is of the most important temples on the island. This cliff-side temple attracts thousands of visitors each week thanks to its panoramic view of the ocean below and incredible architecture.
And the Balinese dance known as Kecak is performed right in the temple from 6 to 7pm daily. Kecak is based on an epic battle from the Ramayana, a Hindu saga. A circle of performers chant and dance with hypnotic movements, complex gestures and fantastic drama.
The dancers follow a chorus, moving their bodies side to side while chanting the words “cak ke-cak ke-cak”, which gives the dance its name. The rhythm is slow at first then eventually reaches a crescendo with the men waving their hands in the air.
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#2 Cafe Lotus – Ubud
Cafe Lotus is known for its unique setting, relaxing ambiance and landscaped gardens. The cafe is meant to highlight the best in classic Balinese-style aesthetics complete with huge lotus ponds framed with magnolia trees and orchids.
But more than just a beautiful setting, Cafe Lotus is also the perfect place to watch a traditional Balinese dance. The show is part of the cafe’s regular program and is held each night except Fridays. Young dancers and musicians entertain guests with perfectly choreographed performances in this atmospheric setting.
One of the much-anticipated dances in Café Lotus is Legong, which features delicate finger movements and animated expressions of the body. Other performances to look forward to include the Flute and Cymbal Orchestra, Ramayana Ballet, Gamelan and Barong Dance.
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#3 Batubalan Village
Located on the main road from Denpasar to Ubud, Batubalan is a renowned art village. And what is art without dance? Every day at 9:30am, a Mahabarata epic is performed in the unique Balinese style. The story is a classic fight between good and evil.
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#4 ARMA Museum – Ubud
Agung Rai Museum of Art or ARMA is a massive, 6-hectare museum and resort that holds different Balinese dance performances each day. Blending culture, art, architecture and a sophisticated lifestyle, ARMA boasts of a collection of Balinese artworks and cultural relics. The museum aims to teach the rich history of Bali through dance, music and other art forms.
You can also stop by in the afternoon on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm to see dancers in training being put through their paces. Young girls are welcomed to join in, so for real culture vultures, this is the place to go.
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#5 Legong at Ubud Palace
Legong Dance is a traditional Balinese folk dance featuring young women wearing colorful clothing and elaborate headdress. The dance tells the story of the King of Lasem and his failed attempts at wooing a princess from a rival kingdom through mesmerizing finger movements, complex footwork and expressive gestures.
To catch the show, visit the outdoor courtyard of Ubud Palace. The show starts at 7:30pm daily, but do note that the performances may not be Legong every day.
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#6 Pasar Senggol, Grand Hyatt Hotel – Nusa Dua
Pasar Senggol is an entertainment area in the Grand Hyatt Hotel inspired by local temples found in Bali. As the resort’s central entertainment spot during the evening, Pasar Senggol features a bazaar-style Balinese market, handicraft exhibition as well as dance and musical performances.
Each night, local dancers in elaborate costumes entertain diners with a variety of traditional Balinese dances including a hypnotic rendition of Kecak. After the show, guests are encouraged to check out the stalls of local artisans who sell everything from Balinese sweets to artworks. Catch the show from 7 until 11pm daily.
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#7 Bali Garden Beach Resort
Bali Garden Beach Resort is a family friendly resort in the Kuta-Tuban area. The resort’s restaurant, Boardwalk prides itself on its excellent lineup of musical and dance performances. Every Tuesday and Saturday at 8pm, dancers perform traditional Balinese dances for guests. Be sure to catch the show if you’re after great food and top-notch cultural shows.
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The Magic of Balinese Dance
We hope we’ve made it easier for you and the kids to catch one of these amazing performances! If we missed a great location to see Balinese dance, please let us know!