Royal Palace Cultural Night Performances, Ubud

You might have already heard about the Royal Palace in Ubud which we have mentioned before.  Located in the middle of Ubud, just across the road from the famous local art market, the Ubud Palace has long been the centre of art and culture of the village. Built during the reign of Ida Tjokorda Putu Kandel (1800 – 1823), the palace is now inhabited by his many heirs.

While you visit the amazing one of a kind royal palace in Bali don’t miss your chance enjoy the cultural night performances.  Make it a point to check out the amazing Legong Dance & Ramayana. You will remain awestruck once you witness the dance performance and the thrilling unique music is sure to give you goosebumps.

Traditionally the true intended audiences for cultural performances in Bali are celestial, an offering to the Gods and ancestral spirits, usually performed as part of a temple ceremony. However that doesn’t exclude more terrestrial beings from enjoying a show, and in Ubud you have the opportunity almost every night of the year (bar one, Nyepi, the silent day).

In fact, you could spend weeks in Ubud and watch a different performance every single night from traditional dance and gamelan performances, to wayang kulit, shadow puppet plays. Due to the patronage of the Ubud royal family, the most talented dancers and dance teachers have been attracted to Ubud since at least the early 1900s to entertain the royal courts.

The Legong dance is basically about two brothers, Kings Subali & Sugriwa, who are turned into monkeys.  While the Ramanaya dance is basically on Rama, Sita and her brother Laksamana. Head out for this amazing dance performances at the Royal Palace in Ubud.

The wealth of talent enticed the likes of foreign experts to Ubud too: Canadian musicologist Colin McPhee was one of the first Westerners to study Balinese music, and his book Music in Bali was the first analysis of Balinese music published in English, although he is more widely known for his less academic book a House in Bali.

Many of the performances take place in wonderfully atmospheric venues, such as temples and palaces around Ubud. However don’t expect a theatre — it’s usually an open courtyard and plastic chairs. Shows are modified for tourist taste i.e. they’re relatively short, but the talent, though variable, is generally worthy of the Gods. Visitors are welcome to watch performances at temple ceremonies too as long as you wear full pakaian adat (traditional temple clothes): ask at your accommodation exactly how to dress.

The Ubud Palace is considered to be the location where Ubud’s tradition of home stays began more than 80 years ago.It was during this time that many bohemian artists relocated to Ubud, and spent time entertaining the royal family with their art, while staying in the compound. This in turn sprouted a style of home stay travel in Ubud that has remained to this day.

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