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THE PERIODS OF INDONESIAN DANCING

As culture is in fact the product of all human activities be it physical, spiritual or abstract, we call say that the two social classes were cultured. Since however the class of the feudal aristocracy was strong and rich it is not surprising that its cultural growth was more rapid and more advanced than that of the common people. Consequently, the growth and development of Indonesian dancing during tile period of feudal society had a dual nature. The growth of dancing of tile aristocracy was favorable and of high quality while that of the common people was just opposite.

Indonesian classical dances which have maintained their high aesthetic value are those Of the Surakarta style, Yogyakarta style, Sunda style and Bali style.

Among these styles, the Bali styles has made a most unusual development by comparison with the other. This is because the essence of Balinese dancing has been Supported by a society the structure of which is rather different from that of the other societies, It is true that Bali also has periods of primitive society, feudal society and modern society, but the social structure on this island bas always been wholly permeated by the religious aspect of life. And religious life is not exclusive in Balinese society; generally speaking, all the members of society in Bali irrespective of class, embrace the Hindu-Bali or Hindu Dharma religion.

The Hindu-Dharma religion is much dependent upon dances much as a ceremonial medium in its religious ceremonies and there are even dances which have the sole function of being offerings to God. Consequently, dancing in Bali has been able to develop most favourably, especially after Indonesia became independent.

Consistent with the essence of dancing in Bali and its intimate relationship with religious life, the development of dancing in Bali displays a dual nature today. On the one hand, it serves the interests of the religious life and on the other hand, it has the profane function of a product of art the beauty of which can be enjoyed apart from its religious elements. Today dances that used to be exclusively offerings to God, such as the Pendet Dance for example, can be shown as an ordinary performance, for instance on such occasions as welcoming guests of honour who visit Bali.

 

 
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