In Balinese society, dance is deeply embedded in every facet of life. And one of the Balinese dances performed is called Baris Gede. This dance represents the Widyadara, a warrior who wanders with the Gods. Male adults perform this dance. The range of the number of dancers varies from 2 to 10.
Baris Gede dance is commonly performed during sacred ceremonies, this dance is intended to show Balinese warriors and how strong they can be, but it is not uncommon for Baris Gede dance to have a different storyline from one another depending on the creator. However, the big umbrella is always about showcasing the brave Balinese warrior. A good illustration of this would be the Baris Gede dance, performed by nine dancers who each represent a different wind direction as God’s companion.
A different number of dancers in Baris Gede, might represent different meanings and carry different values. The big umbrella of Baris Gede dance is this specific dance shows how the warrior of God was supposed to be. Hence the reason why while they perform, the dancers brandish various weapons. Spears, shields, and chakrams are all examples of valuable weapons. The only thing that differentiates each dancer is the weapon they carry since all dancers wear identical outfits. It is up to the narrator to decide what symbol the ritual was meant to represent and hence which weapon the dancer carried.
Because the dance movement is so high in intensity, the dancers need a lot of stamina to keep up with it. Shoulders that convey toughness in a warrior are always followed by sharp eye motions that gave the same feeling. Furthermore, eye motions have significance, which indicates that the eye is vigilant. The Baris Gede dance has been performed at least as far back as the 8th century.