HomeBlogs Arja Arja is Bali’s oldest drama form, performed for the first time in 1820.
The name was taken from Sanskrit, Reja, meaning ‘something beautiful’.
This was due to the beautiful combination of dancing, singing, and
traditional instruments used in this drama. Arja players usually don
beautiful dresses decorated in gold, silver, and flowers. Arja is
performed not only for entertainment but also for education as there are
many moral messages showed through this drama. Comedy, heroism, to the
history of Bali can be expressed through Arja. The conversations among
characters are done by using Macepat (traditional singing technique in
Bali). There are three types of Arja according to the number of players
and the traditional instruments used: * Arja Doyong: performed by one person without instruments. * Arja Gaguntangan: performed by two to ten persons with traditional instrument called Gaguntangan. * Arja Gede: performed more than 10 persons with traditional instruments.
type of Arja rose around the 20th Century called Arja Muani. Arja Muani
is performed by males only, even for the female characters in the
drama. Arja Muani is performed for entertainment because the story only
regards comedy. This type of Arja is the favorite among the Balinese,
usually performed in most social events in Bali.