Just posted this in the dance challenge thread:
The Sanghyang Dance:There are 6 kinds of sanghyang dance widely known by the people: Sangyang Dedari, Sanghyang Deling, Sanghyang Jaran, Sanghyang Bojog, Sanghyang Celeng and Sanghyang Grobogan. The Sanghyang dance is included in trance dance genre. The sanghyang dances are considered sacred ritual dances that should be performed only in Hindu Balinese religious events, never merely to entertain tourists. This dance is believed to have the power to invite the gods or sacred spirits to enter the body of the dancers and put them in a state of trance. It dates back to the ancient Pre-Hindu culture, a time when the Balinese people strongly believed, that by the help of Holy Spirit through a medium of dancer, sickness and disease could be eliminated. This dance is usually performed in the fifth or sixth month of the Balinese traditional calendar, as it is believed that during these particular months, the Balinese are vulnerable to all kinds of illnesses, or in the time of plague, failed crops or disaster.
The Sanghyang dance is usually performed by two young girls, on the verge of pre-puberty (usually 8-10 years of age) who gradually go into a state of trance as women sing in chorus and incense is wafted about them. Supposedly entered by the spirit of the nymph Supraba, the girls rise and dance, often acrobatically, though they have been chosen from among girls untrained in dance.
The girls rock back and forth in a trance until they fall, and the women remove their white skirts, replace them with gilt one, place holy head-dresses with fresh frangipani flowers decorations on their heads and gently lift them to the men’s shoulders. Then the Sanghyangs are carried to another temple or tour the village to ward the pestilence. The Sanghyangs stand and dance a kind of legong style with their eyes closed as if they were in a dream on the shoulder of the carriers.
Though their eyes are shut, their movements are in perfect unison. The temperamental Sanghyangs may suddenly decide that the dance is over. Then they must be taken out of trance with more songs and offerings. They distribute the flower from their head-dresses as amulets and sprinkle the crowd with holy water. The ceremony last for two or three hours.
For your viewing pleasure, here is a link to a video of part of an actual dance: