Barong is probably the most well known dance in Bali. It is a traditional story telling dance and narrates the classic fight between good and evil. It represents the Balinese way of acting out mythology which results in myth and history being blended into one reality.
Barong is a central character in the mythology of Bali. He is the king of the spirits; the leader of an army for good and the sworn enemy of Rangda, who represents evil in the mythological traditions of Bali.
Banas Pati Rajah is the fourth “brother” or spirit child that accompanies every Balinese child throughout their life. It is the spirit Banas Pati Rajah who animates Barong and as a protector spirit, he is often represented as a lion. Traditional performances of his struggles against Rangda are a popular highlight of the Barong dance and within Balinese culture; the Barong responds to Rangda’s use of magic and controls the negative forces by killing Rangda and thereby restoring the essential balance that is the foundation in Bali.
The Lion Barong is one of five traditional Barong. In Bali each region of the island has its own protective spirit for its forests and lands. Each Barong protects his own region and is modeled after a different animal. There is a boar, a tiger, a dragon (or serpent), a giant and the traditional lion. The lion Barong is widely recognised as he comes from the Gianyar region, where Ubud is the home of the sacred Lion Baron Dance & his performance is not to be missed.