Open access peer-reviewed chapter

The Light Penetrates Silence: Kolok Dance Study in Bengkala Village, Buleleng, Bali

By Ida Ayu Trisnawati

Submitted: May 30th 2020Reviewed: October 8th 2020Published: October 28th 2020

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.94397

Downloaded: 102


Art is an expression of the pure soul of humans that is not limited by physical. Therefore, everyone can express their art in various forms of art acts such as dancing, singing, painting, and others. This occurs to the Kolok (mute) community in Bengkala village where they express their artistic spirit by dancing. The Kolok community in this village dances Janger Kolok Dance, Baris Bebek Bingar Bengkala (Bebila) Dance or Baris Bebila Dance, and Jalak Anguci Starling Dance. This dance illustrates the joy and excitement of the mute people in Bengkala village who are able to surpass their limitations into an opportunity to fill themselves up. The creation of this dance is motivated by esthetic, economic and religious reasons. Structurally, all Kolok dances in Bengkala follow the same pattern of general dance but there are adjustments to the conditions of the dancers. This dance has the meaning of struggle, discipline, hard work, cooperation, entertainment based on excitement through the limitations of those who are deaf Kolok.


  • art
  • expression
  • dance
  • excitement
  • deaf mute

1. Introduction

Indonesia is a country with a very rich cultural diversity. The richness of culture can be seen from the existence of diverse arts from dance, music, building, visual arts and painting. The whole art is the purest expression of the soul of humans [1]. Art as an expression of the soul is shown by the existence of symbols that are full of meaning. As it is explained in Bahtic [2] which divides the symbol into two namely constitutive symbol and cognitive symbol. The constitutive symbol is related to the human relationship with God, in this case, art can be linked to religious rituals. Then, cognitive symbols relate to the level of human cognition or understanding of the development of existing situations. This dance phenomenon can be seen with the emergence of various types of art that have new genres such as urban art, natural, surrealism and so on. Art phenomenon that occurs in all levels of Indonesian society, including in Bali.

Bali as one of the regions with cultural uniqueness also has a unique culture, especially in the arts. Bali is even one of the centers of regional art that is still very good in Indonesia and even in the world. The statements above can be seen from the various nicknames given to Bali, one of which is the last paradise in the world. The meaning of the last word of heaven is the uniqueness of culture, including the field of art. Art that develops in Bali reaches out to all levels of people, young and old, rich, poor, urban and rural, including those with special needs, one of them Kolok(mute). In the village of Bengkala, Kubutambahan District, Buleleng Regency, Bali.

During the last few years, countries in the Asia Pacific region including Indonesia have shown their maximum efforts to acknowledge that the existence of people with disabilities has become an important issue in the discussion of human rights. The reason is that persons with disabilities also have the same rights as normal humans to contribute in the economic, social, educational, cultural and political fields. The progress that Indonesia has made in paying attention to persons with disabilities can be seen when it signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCPRD) [3]. Until now, the government is still trying to solve the problem by making a national action data collection of diffables throughout Indonesia, providing job training, developing services and placing disabled workers in formal and informal work positions in the fields of economy, education, culture, politics, and social.

The seriousness of the government can be seen by the establishment [4] of Law Number 19 Year 2011 concerning the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 1 states that the purpose of this convention is to promote, protect and guarantee the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons. With disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. Meanwhile [5] Law No. 8 of 2013 concerning Persons with Disabilities, which states that (1) the Government, Local Governments, State-Owned Enterprises, and Regional Owned Enterprises are required to employ at least 2% (two percent) of Persons with Disabilities of the total number of employee or worker; (2) Private companies are required to employ at least 1% (one percent) of Persons with Disabilities of the number of employees or workers. The sanctions are not playing games. If violated, a maximum penalty of 6 months will be imposed and/or a maximum fine of 200 million rupiah. Thus, in the last few years after the UN Convention, there were several arts and disabilities organizations in Bali, namely the Happy Foundation, the Pearl Light Foundation in Ubud, and PERTUNI Denpasar [6].

In Bali there is a Bengkala Village, Bengkala village community who are generally normal people yet there is a group of people who have special needs, namely deaf mute, which is called by the local community, Kolok. This disability group consisted of 42 people where they live like other normal people. Their daily interactions do with Bengkala’s typical sign language, which is not the same as sign language in general [7]. The condition of the Kolokin Bengkala village has been reviewed by Udayana University and Gajah Mada University, which found that there are unique genes that cause some families in the village to experience silence.

Other uniqueness is that they can also perform arts, the results of which are quite phenomenal, namely the existence of the Kolok jangerdance which was staged at the Bali Art Performance in 2004, but if historically seen the existence of this jangerhas existed since 1967 [8]. It consisted of a group of men and women from Kolokwho danced quite well. The situation then proves that normal people, but all human beings do not only possess interest and artistic talent with their uniqueness. This means that art can be one of the potential that can be continuously explored in every human being.

Departing from this, in 2017 the Indonesian Institute of the Arts Denpasar in collaboration with the Indonesian Science and Technology Service Forum (Flipmas), Flipmas Bali (Ngayah) and Pertamina’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) worked on art performances in the form of line dance. This line dance is called the Bebek BingarBengkala Line Dance which is later called the Baris BebilaDance. The choice of this theme was motivated by the potential of the Bengkala people who are unique, namely those with special needs but have a high artistic spirit. They can break physical silence by dancing and doing the performing arts well. So this dance is very suitable because it is full of values ​​and meaning of struggle. As explained by Dibia [9] that the line dance is a dance that has a heroic meaning with weapons, complete clothes, ready to face any situation. Likewise, the Kolokcommunity in Bengkala Village, they are ready to face various existing situations and their shortcomings to answer life’s increasingly complex challenges.

In addition, there is also the Jalak Angucidance that is danced by two Kolokwomen in Bengkala village on behalf of Budarsih and Reswanadi. This dance is inspired by the bad whereabouts of Bali starlings, which are currently a rare bird in Bali. Moreover, Jalak Angucimeans singing in a sweet voice. This is in line with the existence of the unique Bengkala Village, which may be the only one in Bali with its unique Kolokcommunity. Its potential must be preserved and developed so that it can become an icon of a society that is always happy amid its limitations [10].

The conditions above are certainly interesting objects of study that the physical limitations given by God do not have to be lamented. Nevertheless, it must be used as a whip to encourage humans to develop and make their limitations a challenge. If this attitude can be transmitted and made public to the public, it will certainly be very inspiring. That value is what will be studied more deeply in this study.


2. Research methods

This research is a qualitative research, the focus of research is to describe the background and process of the creation of Janger KolokDance, Baris Bebek BingarDance, and Jalak AnguciDance comprehensively in the real world. The research location is in Bengkala Village, Kubutambahan sub-district, Buleleng Regency. Sources of data were obtained directly with the participation and information of dancers, musicians and artists involved in the making of Janger KolokDance, Baris Bebek BingarBengkala (Bebila) Dance, and Jalak AnguciStarling. Study documents about studies that support research problems. Then the process of training, staging and the situation in the village of Bengkala were observed to get a complete picture of the research problem under study. The next step is to test the validity of the data by triangulating the source and data collection methods. As a whole, it was analyzed using the interactive method Mile and Huberman [11], so that data obtained about the Kolokdance, namely Janger Kolok, Baris BebilaDance and Jalak AnguciStarling Dance as a form of artistic expression namely BingarPenetrating Silence.

3. Discussion

3.1 Background of Kolokdance creation in Bengkala

The creation of the Janger Kolokdance, Bengkala BingarDuck Dance, and the Jalak AnguciStarling Dance was motivated by the desire to help the Kolokcommunity in Bengkala village to express their artistic talents. Starting with the success of the 2004 Janger Kolok, which performed at the Bali Arts Week, another dance was created. Precisely in 2017 Institut Seni Indonesia(ISI) Denpasar saw the ability of the Kolokcommunity to dance in Janger Kolokin 2004 came the idea to make another dance. Then the idea of creating the Baris Bebek BingarBengkala (Bebila) Dance emerged. This idea was further developed in 2018 by creating the Jalak AnguciDistance Dance. This is proof that actually the Kolokcommunity in Bengkala village has artistic potential.

Specifically, the background to the creation of special dances for the Kolokcommunity in Bengkala is divided into three main reasons, namely esthetics, economics, and religion. The reason for the creation of art cannot be separated from the esthetic value. Likewise, the creation of Janger Kolokdance, Baris Bebiladance and Jalak Angucidance is inseparable from esthetic reasons. Esthetics according to Gie [12] is the value of beauty, science of beauty, and taste. This cannot be separated from the dance work as a work of art full of beauty. This beauty can make people who dance feel happy. Likewise those who watch it feel happy. Therefore, art can be one of the entertainment media that makes people feel happy.

This condition is in line with what is faced by the Kolokcommunity groups in Bengkala village. People who are classified as disabled but have a high artistic interest. This society can live happily amid the physical limitations and limitations they have. This situation is certainly different from people with disabilities in general who sometimes feel embarrassed to appear because they are not confident. The spirit of art and the desire to express themselves have encouraged the Kolokcommunity in Bengkala to overcome these limitations. This Kolokcommunity can make it as one of the social capital to create unique art that is second to none.

Other conditions that encourage the creation of this dance are economic reasons, namely the existence of a desire to be one alternative income to the Kolokcommunity. It is hoped that when they become professional artists, their uniqueness will attract the interest of art connoisseurs and tourists to come and watch them. Of course, there is some money that can be obtained after they perform this dance. This is in line with the views of Bandem and deBoer [13] which states that if the dance is well managed it can certainly produce economic benefits. Examples can be seen staging dance for tourists in various tourism centers such as in Ubud with barongperformances or in Tanah Lot with Kecakdance performances.

This reasoning certainly looks very pragmatic, but seeing their limited condition is an alternative solution in the long run. This development is important to answer the development of tourism so that it does not only become a spectator in the midst of globalization [14]. The economic benefits gained are not solely for economic reasons but how they can solve economic problems. Because it must be recognized that in our society not all can accept their limited conditions. In addition, limited professional access is also the reason why this group must find other solutions in the economic field. Training them to become professional dancers and performers in accordance with their artistic potential can be an alternative solution.

In addition, the development of tourism that is getting better in the North Bali region is also one event for them to show their potential. Therefore, this Kolokcommunity group must be prepared. This preparation is one of them by training them to become professional dancers. In the future Bengkala village can be used as a kind of project pilot for inclusive villages in the arts. This is certainly interesting to be a special destination for academics, artists, art connoisseurs, and other fields who care about this disabled group.

The next background is religious, as a form of gratitude and respect for culture. Balinese society as a cultured creature cannot be separated from its religious side [15]. All activities in his life will be closely related to religious life, especially Hinduism. Through the creation of Janger KolokDance, Baris Bebek BingarBengkala (Bebila) Dance, and Jalak AnguciStarling Dance, it is hoped that it can be a form of gratitude for God’s gift to humans. Whatever form of blessing is given by God, we certainly should always be grateful, including in limited situations like this Koloksociety. Because with this gratitude, humans can see the positive side of the shortcomings that we have. This form of gratitude can be demonstrated by making it a positive thing, one of which is a variety of special dances for the Kolokcommunity in Bengkala.

This dance shows how this Kolokcommunity dances happily through their lives. The dancers dance the dance with sincerity and inspiration. The assertive variety of line dance moves is also an expression of gratitude. Then it is expected in the performance when there are people watching so that they are aware and grateful for God’s blessing. Because if we are grateful for whatever is given to humans it will undoubtedly be beneficial.

In the dimension of Balinese art philosophy, art is ngayah(doing work without thinking about results). This philosophy is also a form of religious value that is gratitude and respect for God’s power. Various types of special dances for people with disabilities have also become an expression of the desire of the Kolokgroup in Bengkala village:

3.2 General description of Kolokdance in Bengkala

First, the Janger Kolokdance was popular and famous in 2002 when it was staged at the Bali Arts Festival. Actually historically, it has been around since 1967, which was pioneered by Nedeng [8]. The early history of the emergence of this jangercannot be separated from the expression of art and gratitude from the people in the village of Bengkala when the harvest is finished. Then they made a dance in the form of a janger, but due to their limitations, they could not speak Kolokfinally made a jangerthat was created using only sign language. This then makes the jangerthat was made known as the Kolok janger(the dancer’s silent voice).

Furthermore, when viewed from the dance movements are actually not much different from other dance dances. Motion is the main element in dance that involves three things, namely energy, space, and time [16]. The substantive thing that distinguishes it lies in the absence of sound or singing like a jangerin normal. The dancers use gestures to give a sign of what is being sung. The Kolokdance consists of left and right ngagem, nyeleog, ngelipur, nyeledet, ngelig, and includes carry. In addition, because this dance also combines the movements of the Kecakdance when seated, there are movements of supervisors, ngeseh, nudingand nayoh. The pattern of the movement was divided into pepeson, prince, play, and sensitivity. The whole movement is done with duration of three repetitions dynamically and alternately.

A hiccup, namely gambelanin a smaller form consisting of drums, flutes, gups, gongsand gangsa, accompanies the Janger Kolokdance. To add value to the art in the performance, dancers always wear standard decoration hangers consisting of banger janger, badong, tinsel belt, kamencloth, oncer, and ampok-ampok. In addition, there are ornaments in the form of earrings, fans (women), udeng(men), shorts and other accessories to support the performance of dancers to the fullest. The duration of the performance of the anger Kolokdance is usually between 20 and 30 minutes for each performance.

Second, Baris Bebek BingarDance Bengkala is literally interpreted as a happy war dance from Bengkala. This dance illustrates the army that is ready to face the enemy with joy. Furthermore, Baris Bebek BingarDance is seen from the aspect of the movement is not much different from the line dance movements in general. But adapted to the limited ability of dancers who cannot hear and cannot speak (Kolok). To enrich the motion of this dance, the motion of attraction is added. Baris Bebek BingarBengkala dance dancers numbered seven people where one person serves as the leader of his troops and four dancers as members of the troops. The dancers are Ngarda, Sumendra, Subentar, Juliarta, Karyana, Sugita, and Sudarma [17]. This is in accordance with the general concept of line dance, which is a symbol of troops. The variety of dance moves is also a picture of the preparation of troops to fight such as combat training or war strategy.

Especially for the Baris Bebek Bingar(Duck dance), certainly not as detailed as the Baris bebekdance in general there are aspects that are omitted for example the sound and the formation is very simple. The core movements in the Bebek BingarBengkala dance line are generally divided into four parts, pepeson, comedians, painters and sensitizers. In addition there are some typical movements possessed by the Baris bebekdance, namely for pepeson(gilak) can be started from the lawang mungkahnamely opening the door or initiating a performance. After continuing with the right mangemand left mangem. Other movements are nayog, and then loud, switch pajeng, malpal. The whole movement is carried out dynamically to describe the troops or soldiers who will fight.

The Baris Bebiladance is also filled with movements of both arms, which are always horizontal in position with firm movements, showing the readiness of a soldier. The spear is always held tight. Then these dancers move their eyes dynamically to show they are very alert as a soldier. The movements will be implemented into the performance. Where the initial staging process begins with the sound of gambelan(percussion). The dancer then enters the stage. Once on the stage the dancers will form formations or groups that face each other. They wag their spears if in this general line they shout, and then demonstrate the war movement. This movement characterizes line dance that the aim is to prepare troops for war.

Each group alternately moves as they fight fighting each other. The movements are carried out in a compact manner coordinating with each other. The dance leader who commands the war forces coordinates these movements. So keep alternating up to three times the repetition. Then the squad leader gave the command to stop. The dancer stops while lowering her head and holds her spear. The next movement was new information, each of them moved and looked for new friends. Movement is the same as that which begins with a combination of other war movements. Occasionally there is also a circular motion up to three repetitions. After that, then a dance ends, all dancers’line up and face the pelinggihor the audience, then bow their heads and return to the backstage [13]. Thus ended the performance of Bebek BingarBengkala Dance.

The Bebek BingarBengkala dance, if seen from the fashion has similarities with the Baris dance in general, especially the Baris Spear dance. A difference is using foot ornaments in the form of small bells in the form of bracelets (gongseng). The purpose of this decoration is the presence of a distinctive sound when the dancer snaps her feet or moves. This is to cover up the lack of dancers who cannot scream because they are mute (Kolok).

The other clothing used by the Baris Bebek BingarBengkala dance is a headdress consisting of a conical hat. These binds are usually decorated with flowers and various trinkets that make it look bright. Then the clothes consist of badong, awir, lamak, kanabracelets, white clothes and white pants and spear-shaped weapons. It also contains a total of 16 pieces of cloth laying down, which will have an effect when the dancer spins. Dancers complete with face decoration wore the whole outfit, so it looked dashing like a war soldier. Then to accompany it, use a flute, kenong, gongand beleqdrum as one of the musical instruments.

Third, the Jalak Angucidance is a new dance created in 2018, which depicts beautiful women such as starlings who have a melodious voice. With the hope that later Bengkala village as a unique village with its Kolokcommunity can be famous like the Bali Starling and can talk a lot in a wider arena. Two Kolokwomen in Bengkala village, Budarsih and Reswanadi, dance this dance. Both of them were very young when they were 19 and 13 years old. It is hoped that later they will be able to transmit this dance to other people.

Jalak AnguciStarling Dance has a unique uniqueness with other dances, where generally the dance follows the musicians. However, in the Jalak Angucidance, the musicians will follow the dance moves. Although it starts from the drummer to give a signal. To beautify the appearance of the dance movements Starling Jalak Angucidancers wear clothes like starlings. To be decorated with a coil containing the head decoration like a starling. Then his body was wrapped with badongdecorations, ampok-ampok, kanabracelets, anklets, and other decorations. Then for the accompanist to use gambelanin the form of drums, flutes, gongs, kenongand others. This dance performance takes 7–8 minutes at a time.

3.3 The meaning of Bengkala Kolokdance

Each dance certainly has a value that wants to be described and conveyed to the audience [12]. Likewise, Kolokdances in Bengkala village. There is a transfer of values to be conveyed to the wider community, which is expected to be a guideline in shaping character [18]. If you examine the three dances in Bengkala village, there are values to be conveyed including struggle, discipline, hard work, cooperation, beauty, and excitement.

The value of struggle in dance in Bengkala village can be seen from the process of a Kolokwho can dance. The dancer has to struggle a long struggle in order to be able to dance a dance, such as when practicing Baris Bebek BingarBengkala dance and distance from the Jalak Angucidistance dance. Including Baris dance itself is actually full of heroic values that are synonymous with struggle [19]. These dancers need an average of up to three months to be able to dance a dance. The spirit to keep on struggling not to give up on their limitations is very much needed. This value can certainly be a guide for us to imitate and can be used as a guide in living life to always be enthusiastic.

The struggle can also be seen from a limited situation because they are Kolokbut must dance to the accompaniment of gambelan. Which logically is not possible, but thanks to the perseverance of the high fighting spirit, the dancers finally performed the dance well. Likewise the musicians who should accompany the dance. Because the dancers do not hear and are unable to speak, the mother beater who must be prepared always follows the dancers’ movements that are sometimes unpredictable. This situation certainly needs not an easy thing but it requires a struggle.

The next value is discipline, the key to the success of the Janger Kolokdance, Baris BebilaDance and Jalak AnguciDance. There is discipline among dancers and musicians to continue practicing. Discipline to control and defeat selfishness and feeling lazy and giving up easily. Because in the midst of these limitations, discipline is the key so that they can successfully dance the dance that is trained. If not disciplined, of course what the trainer teaches will not be done correctly. These dancers really prove that discipline can change the impossible to be possible.

In addition to the discipline of the dancers and musicians, they also have a hardworking spirit, they do not easily give up on their condition. This situation causes the dance that was initially impossible to be able to do. These dancers must practice 2–3 times a day for three months. In the morning they work before training, in the afternoon when they break playing the video sent by their trainer, in the afternoon they train together at the village hall. Their willingness to work hard finally paid off with a good performance at the end of the event. This means that there is no wasted effort, when we try to the maximum then the results will also be good.

The meaning of each dance developed in Bengkala Village is the value of cooperation. This can be seen in the synergy of cooperation between dancers, musicians, trainers and also the surrounding community. It is this good collaboration that led to this dance being realized. Because of the limitations and various problems that exist eventually the dances can be realized. Dancers, musicians and coaches work together to work together to complement their strengths and weaknesses so that this dance can be realized.

As an art of Janger Kolokdance, Baris Bebiladance and Jalak AnguciStarling dance, of course, is full of beauty. The beauty is illustrated by the movements, clothing, percussion and appearance of the dancers. The graceful dance movements are like starlings, emphatically vibrant like the baris bebiladance, and or the Janger Kolokpair with each other is full of beauty. The same thing also happened to the tunes that sound sweet, clothes full of beauty, and the appearance of the dancers with beautiful and handsome face decoration. Overall illustrates the beauty of high-level art that should be appreciated.

Meaning that is no less important is the joy, facial expressions and smiles that are constantly being spread by dancers show that they are very happy. Likewise, the movements of the sweetened musicians also send joy. Excitement was also felt by the audience who were present in each of the three dances. The overall meaning of the above is very important in efforts to foster character [20].

4. Conclusions

Cultural richness can be seen from the existence of various arts ranging from dance, music, building, fine arts and painting. All art is the purest expression of the human soul in which there are symbols full of meaning. Dances are meaningful expressions of the pure soul and are created for many reasons. There are two symbols that are interrelated, namely constitutive symbols and cognitive symbols. The constitutive symbol is related to the human relationship with God, in this case art can be associated with religious rituals. Cognitive symbols relate to the level of human cognition or understanding of the development of existing situations. This phenomenon can be seen with the emergence of various types of art that have new genres such as urban art, natural, surrealism and so on.

Bali as one of the areas with cultural uniqueness also has cultural uniqueness, especially in the arts. Bali has even become one of the best regional arts centers in Indonesia and even in the world. In Bali there is a Bengkala Village, Bengkala Village Community who are generally normal people but there is a group of people with special needs, namely the deaf which is called by the local community, namely Kolok. This disability group consists of 42 people where they live like normal people. Their daily interactions are carried out using the typical Bengkala sign language, which is not the same as sign language in general. In Bengkala village there is an art whose results are quite phenomenal, namely the janger kolokdance performed at the Bali Art Week 2004. Precisely in 2017 the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) Denpasar saw the ability of the Kolokcommunity to dance at Janger Kolokin 2004 an idea emerged to make another dance.. Then came the idea to make Baris Bebek Bingar(Bebila) Dance. This idea was further developed in 2018 by creating the Long Distance Jalak AnguciDance.

Currently, Kolokdance in Bengkala Village consists of Janger KolokDance, Baris Bebek BingarBengkala (Bebila) Dance, and Jalak AnguciDance based on esthetic, economic and religious values. Esthetics related to the artistic spirit of persons with disabilities in the Kolokcommunity with special needs. Then the economic reason related to the benefits of this dance is expected to have a beneficial impact in the form of income because it is performed. Furthermore, the religious reason is related to thanking God for all the blessings given. Judging from the meaning of this dance is struggle, discipline, hard work, cooperation, beauty and joy. Everything is reflected in every dance movement, percussion, dancer, coach and musician as well as the audience in the Janger Kolokdance, Baris Bebiladance and Jalak Angucidance.


I thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions on this manuscript. Thanks are conveyed to LP2MPP ISI Denpasar for the creation of the Baris Bebek BingarBengkala (Bebila) Dance. Research and performance of the Baris Bebiladance, supported by the Indonesian Science and Technology Service Forum (Flipmas), as well as Pertamina’s CSR.

© 2020 The Author(s). Licensee IntechOpen. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ida Ayu Trisnawati (October 28th 2020). The Light Penetrates Silence: <em>Kolok</em> Dance Study in Bengkala Village, Buleleng, Bali, Creativity - A Force to Innovation, Pooja Jain, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.94397. Available from:

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