10 Best Traditional Balinese Dance Shows

Live Theatre Performances in Bali

Here are all of the great theatre and live shows in Bali. These range from culturally insightful traditional dance performances staged against ancient and majestic temple backdrops, to modern theatrical shows that are intricately choreographed, including dramatic lighting effects and soundtracks. Themes range from local folktales to ancient Hindu epics, while contemporary shows blend storytelling with lively dance troupes in elaborately designed costumes, and even aerial acrobatics.

Like any form of storytelling, the best theatre in Bali can transport you to other worlds, take you on fantastic journeys, or simply showcase the many different facets of exotic culture and traditions through dance and drama. Live shows in Bali are held regularly and are often a great highlight of your trip, with many located in exotic places. There’s no better way to introduce yourself to Bali’s rich cultural heritage. Tickets for each show are available at their respective theatre counters, while some others can be booked on our site.

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    Uluwatu Temple Amphitheatre

    Uluwatu Temple remains among the greatest places on the island to watch Bali’s legendary singing and dancing ritual known locally as Kecak, with its main open amphitheatre run and performed by the local Pecatu villagers’ cooperative. There are two Kecak dance troupes performing at the Uluwatu Amphitheatre, namely the Sekaa Tarian Kecak and Sekaa Tari Kecak Karang Boma dance and gamelan groups. The acapella dance involves over a dozen or more male performers dancing and rhythmically chanting, “chaak, chaak, chaak”, hence the name. Kecak performances are held regularly around sunset, 18:00-ish, and usually run for an hour. Read More...

    • Location: Uluwatu Temple, Pecatu
    • Tel: +62 (0)361 904 1163
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    The dedicated amphitheatre at Tanah Lot Temple comes to life at sunset, and is a popular attraction for visitors to enjoy after admiring the sea temple. The show features Bali’s famous Kecak ‘fire dance’ performance, which depicts a major episode in the Ramayana epic, with dancers performing to the background music provided by a circle of male singing-dancers chanting acapella. The Surya Mandala Cultural Park is located to the west of the Batu Bolong Temple. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 19:00
    • Location: Tanah Lot Temple, Tabanan
    • Tel: +62 (0)361 880 361
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    This theatrical art performance at the Bali Theatre, a modern purpose-built indoor theatre at the Bali Safari & Marine Park in Gianyar, is loosely based on a Balinese legend, and is brought alive through lively dance choreography, vibrant costumes, dramatic music compositions and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems. The unique aspect of the show is that it combines traditional and contemporary dances, traditional shadow puppetry using modern techniques – and features the animals of the Bali Safari Marine Park, such as birds and tigers, as co-stars of the show. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 14:30 - 15:30 except Mondays
    • Location: Bali Safari & Marine Park, Jalan Bypass Ida Bagus Mantra, Gianyar
    • Tel: +62 (0)361 950 000
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    Devdan Show at Nusa Dua Theatre

    Devdan is a 90-minute theatrical show that tells of a boy and girl who decide to break away from their mundane tour group, only to stumble upon an enchanted treasure chest filled with various cultural objects from the different islands in the Indonesian archipelago, hence the shows subtitle, ‘Treasure of the Archipelago’. Their adventure goes on from there, as each ‘discovery’ of an item from their treasure chest brings on a corresponding scene onto the stage, complete with acrobatics on the floor and even aerial silk dancers suspended from the ceiling. Read More...

    • Location: Nusa Dua Theatre, Jalan Nusa Dua, Nusa Dua
    • Tel: +62 (0)361 770 197
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    ARMA Open Stage

    Open stage performances at the ARMA Museum in Ubud range from Balinese trance dances, Legong, Balinese masks, the popular Barong and Kris dance, and different variations of old traditional dance and drama. The Legong (a classical royal Balinese court dance) is a must-see here, highlighted during full moons and new moons, which give the onstage presence a special aura, and is performed by local maestros from the neighbouring village of Peliatan. Cultural dinner packages are also available. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 19:30 – 21:00
    • Location: Jalan Raya Pengosekan, Ubud
    • Tel: 62 (0)361 976 659
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    Besides offering a day out in a massive open park venue that is home to the construction of one of largest statues in the world, the GWK offers live cultural performances in its open amphitheatre, highlighting regular Barong (a dance drama depicting the eternal battle between Good and Evil) and Kecak (depicting a scene from the Ramayana epic, accompanied by the chanting choruses of male dancers), from 18:30. Other cultural performances include bamboo orchestras, Joged (a social dance) and the mesmerising Legong dance performed by petite dancers in vivid costumes. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 08:00 – 22:00
    • Location: Jalan Raya Uluwatu, Ungasan
    • Tel: +62 (0)361 700 808
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    Jambe Budaya Barong Dance

    Batubulan, Gianyar
    Jambe Budaya Barong Dance

    A different kind of Barong dance performance, the Jambe Budaya Theatre in Batubulan shows its version of the dance much like a play. Many of the performers are local residents of Batubulan village, and unlike common Barong performances in the area, the antics of the comic reliefs (acting as monkeys and other animals from the Ramayana monkey forest episode) can be quite hilarious. The setup of the stage is also modern, laid out with carpets and supported by advanced lighting and sound systems.

    • Opening Hours: 09:30 – 10:30
    • Location: Jalan Pasekan, Batubulan, Gianyar
    • Tel: +62 (0)818 0559 0490
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    Putra Barong & Kris Dance

    Batubulan, Gianyar
    Putra Barong & Kris Dance

    This local stage in Batubulan shows the popular Barong and Kris dagger dance performances, and is a great addition to your tour of the Ubud area, including the goldsmiths and silversmiths commune of Celuk and Mas. The shows are held daily and in the mornings only, with dancers and the gamelan troupes from the local village. The show is presented in five episodes, each depicting a scene from the Calonarang epic that tells the battle between the Rangda and Barong, aka a classical tale of good versus evil.

    • Opening Hours: 09:30 – 10:30
    • Location: Jalan Celuk-Sukawati, Batubulan, Sukawati, Gianyar
    • Tel: +62 (0)361 294 230
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    Sahadewa Barong Dance

    Batubulan, Gianyar
    Sahadewa Barong Dance

    Showing Barong and Kecak dance performances daily in the Balinese artists’ village of Batubulan, the Sahadewa dance theatre has two stages, enabling shows to be performed in any weather. The stage is also one of Bali’s pioneering local stages. Established in 1972, the show has been performed daily ever since. The Barong dances are mainly shown at its open stage, while the indoor stage hosts cultural dinners as well as varieties of traditional dances such as Legong, Jegog and others.

    • Opening Hours: 09:30 – 10:30; 18:30 – 19:30
    • Location: Jalan SMKI, Batubulan, Gianyar
    • Tel: +62 (0)361 298 607
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    Sari Wisata Budaya Barong & Kris Dance

    Pemogan, Denpasar
    Sari Wisata Budaya Barong & Kris Dance

    The privately-run Sari Wisata Budaya stage, located in the village of Suwung Kauh that is in between Kuta and Sanur, features a semi-open stage where the Barong and Kris dagger dancers are performed daily. Pamphlets are handed out before the show, which explains the episodes of the performances inspired by the legendary Calonarang tale of the struggle between the powers of good and evil, represented by the two main characters known as the Barong and Rangda. A lively gamelan orchestra accompanies the dances, and photo sessions with the performers clad in their dazzling traditional costumes onstage follow after the show. Shows are held in the mornings, starting at 09:30 for approximately an hour.

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