Calonarang, Mystical Dances Which Give You a Goosebumps

Calonarang Dances in Bali is one of the mystical dance from Bali. The dances tells the stories associated with witchcraft, black magic and white magic, known as Pangiwa / Pangleyakan and Panengen. The plays generally comes from a semi-historical story of the reign of King Airlangga in Kahuripan (East Java) in the IX century.


Calonarang performance regarded as a showmanship of invulnerability because in some parts of the show featuring scenes of power struggle and immunity (death scenes demonstrate bangke-bangkean, Rangda stabbed with sharp weapons freely).


The Terrible Bangke Matah

In some versions of the dance, during the staging of Calonarang there are scenes of some kind of mummified process known as bangke Matah. Bangke Matah ritual hold at Pura Dalem. It is a living human but get a burial ritual as if he died. These ritual are hold to call the supernatural power of leak to involve during the dance. Bangke Matah tell about the plague that struck Kediri people who make a lot of them died.


Penglingsir Puri Padang Aji warned audiences to not accompany the body to the cemetery (Setra). The ceremony then is completed, the body was carried attended by hundreds of members Sandhi Murti from behind.


The next ceremony begins. This time the audience will be excited because they would see a fire, some see a white cloth stretched. Not until 15 minutes, the two corpses was really alive again. According to Pinisepuh Perguruan Sandhi Murti Indonesia, Drs. I Gusti Ngurah Harta, that fireball was a materialization of the leak which present. But those leak did not dare to come to the arena show its power.


The Philosophy of Calonarang Performance

Calonarang dances has 3philosopical functions which serve as:

  1. An event to conserve the local, heritage tradition of the ancestors.
  2. As a neutralizer of black magic powers around the stage
  3. As an event to show the power of the Gods to convince the people of the teachings of Hindu religion. (original article here)

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