home > performing art > secular dances in the outer temple > prembon >


As the 20th century progressed, more and more new combinations of previously separate dance genres have been made, yielding a bewildering variety of hybrid and composite forms.

During the troubled 1940s, the last of the traditional line of the Kings of Gianyar, I Dewa Manggis VIII, called together the dancers attached to his palace and asked them to create Prembon (Combination).

He asked that favorite type characters be taken from Gambuh, Baris, Arja, Topeng, and Parwa, and that a single story be presented in which they all appeared. The clowns were taken from Topeng, while Baris provided the protagonist.

The princess and the Condong from Arja took the leading female roles, while Prabangsa from Gambuh appeared as the strong Patih (minister). Music for the performance was composed to be played on the gamelan gong.

This new mixture of traditional and modern elements has found favors with Balinese audiences, as well as with performers, especially in villages where there are dancers who are trained in different styles and genres.

Prembon makes it possible for all to contribute to the Odalan in a single performance.

Copyright © 2002, Bali-Island.com Indonesia