It is unclear when and where the first modern variations on the old Baris Gede were introduced, but they seem to be an early twentieth-century development. The soloist dancer wears the distinctive costume of Baris Gede, with its shimmering pointed helmet.
The basic movements have been taken from the older dance as well, but they have been refined and embellished to a considerable degree. Like Kebyar, solo Baris presents a plotless character study.
The personage is a traditional Balinese warrior, stronger, and more mature than the somewhat effeminate taruna (young man) of Kebyar Duduk.
The dance is said by some to represent abstractly the conduct of the warrior on the battlefield, as he maneuvers to avoid attack. Certainly the character is tense, in fact he trembles with nervous excitement and his eyes dart from side to side.
There is no narrative in the fifteen minutes solo, which is accompanied by the gamelan gong. Some time after the modern baris appeared as a pure dance solo, it occurred to choreographers in Gianyar province to create a story-telling dance form using the popular new character, which is called Baris Melampahan.
Plays based on stories from the Mahabharata and Ramayana have been especially popular subjects for representation by companies including one or more baris dancers, complete in their uniform costume in leading roles.
|Copyright © 2012, Bali-Island.com Indonesia|