Sang Hyang Dedari Dance
or Trance Dance is normally performed to entertain the gods and the goddesses to appease them or to ask for their blessings. A bad harvest or an outburst of an illness may warrant such a dance. The preparation for this dance may take months, as prepubescent girls who have never danced are trained to relax their mind to be able to get into a trance state. Day after day they visit the priest at the local temple to receive their lessons. When the priest concludes that they are ready, and the time is right, the dance will be performed in the court of the temple.
Dressed in elaborate attire and immersed in the smoke of burning incense, the two young girls slowly dance as the accompanying chant of the village women gradually relax them to get into trance. The gods and the goddesses will enter their bodies as they enter trance, and they will dance with movements that they have not mastered in their normal state. They may act and sound like a horse or a monkey; at times, they end up dancing while balancing their back on a piece of bamboo supported by two men on both ends. When they collapse, the village women will chant to ask the gods and the goddesses to peacefully leave the bodies of the young girls. If they refuse, dancing will continue until they agree, at which point the girls will simply collapse.