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ᝰ THE STORY
Three young Rejang dancers featuring in the middle a 6-year-old girl named Nara accompanied by her two friends are climbing up the stairs of the Dalem Puri Temple, in Ubud. Almost impossible to go unnoticed, those dancers wear costumes in unison, lining up parallelly when the show starts. "Ascent" was taken before the actual stage.
Here, the Rejang dancers are wearing the beautiful kain prada, a traditional outfit dominated by yellow shades. Yellow is extremely important in Balinese culture. Widely used in the decoration of homes and temples during religious ceremonies and offerings, the color is part of many traditional Balinese items of clothing, as it is seen as a symbol of divinity. Yellow is also associated with the sun and is believed to bring luck, prosperity, and good health.
The top of Nara's and her friends' is worn by a crown made of gold flowers and leaf ornaments. The myth from the ancestors says that those flowers symbolize the blood of the Goddess, Durga, one of the most popular Hindu deities, associated with protection, strength, motherhood, destruction, and wars. The Rejang Dance is a sacred offering dance in welcoming the arrival of the gods coming from heaven down to Earth. Here, this Rejang Dewa dance serves as an expression of the Balinese's gratitude and respect to the gods for the favor of descending to Earth.
Such dance has an educational, religious, aesthetic, and entertainment meaning. It has always been preserved to this day. As a cultural icon in Bali, this is probably the must-see dance for anyone visiting the island.
There are various forms of Rejang Dances spread across the island. But they are not necessarily performed by special or professional dancers. It is as of today mostly taught from generation to generation in an effort to preserve the culture of the island.
📍Ubud, Bali 🗓 2022