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Joged: A mating dance ritual in Bali

Out in the provinces in Bali there is a local dance called a joged. This dance is a mating ritual that is very popular with locals. The musical accompaniment is a small gamelan orchestra and the participants, a single male and female.

The joged is great fun as westerners are allowed to join in. The female dancer selects people at random, by offering a ribbon to be wrapped around their waste. When you are chosen you get 2-3 minutes. Joged has been around for a while and Miguel Covarrubias mentions it back in 1935.
“A very popular dance that seems related to the legong is the djoged (joged), performed by a girl in a variation of the legong costume and in the traditional legong steps. The dance is considered erotic by the Balinese because the girl entices the men from the audience by “making eyes” at them during the course of the dance. The man invited must dance wit her in postures that represent a love game of approach and refusal (nibing), in which the man tries to come near enough to the girl’s face to catch her perfume and feel the warmth of her skin, the Balinese form of a kiss. As the audience becomes worked up, other men “cut in” and dance with her. I have seen performances of djoged that had an intoxicating effect on the crowd, especially in the more decadent form called gandrung, when it is a boy in girl’s clothes that performs. Fights among the men of the audience at gandrung dances are not unheard of, a procedure which is extremely un-Balinese. The djoged could easily be a modernized, decadent version of the ancient mating dance still to be found in thre village of Tenganan, stronghold of native tradition.”
Visitors to Bali can inquire at hotel if a joged can be arranged. This is especially possible is places like East Bali.