Kebiar dancer, Ubud, Bali

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The Kebyar Dance is a male solo dance, and like the Baris, there are various forms including the Kebyar Duduk and the Kebyar Trompong. In the Kebyar Dance, the accent is upon the dancer himself, who interprets every nuance of the music in powerful facial expressions and movement. The most popular form of Kebyar in South Bali is the Kebyar Duduk, the “seated” Kebyar, where the dancer sits cross-legged throughout most of the dance. By de-emphasizing the legs and reducing the space to a small sphere, the relation between dancer and gamelan is intensified. The dance is concentrated in the flexibility of the wrist and elbow, the magnetic power of the face, and the suppleness of the torso.

The music seems infused in the dancer’s body. The fingers bend with singular beauty to catch the light melodies, while the body sways back and forth to the resounding beat of the gongs. The Kebyar is the most strenuous and subtle of Balinese dances. It is said that no one can become a great Kebyar dancer unless he can play every instrument of the orchestra.

Legong dancer, Ubud, Bali
Baris dancer, Ubud, Bali