In former times, the costumes, accessories and makeup
used for Balinese dance was very unpretentious. In fact, the clothing worn was whatever was available at the time.
For instance, for temple dances, the costume wasn't regarded as being
particularly important. What was taken seriously was the dancer's desire to participate in the dance for the temple. Thus,
dancers frequently took part in the dance in whatever they were wearing at the time. In following years, with
developments, like the position of dance as a cultural element, the matter of dress was arranged so that it met
the requirements of the specific dance. Based on this, the total numbers of clothing designs and makeup styles
quickly developed in line with the tremendous increase in newly created dances.
Outside of Bali and Java, he dance costumes of the dancers and the outfits of the
members of the orchestra became increasingly alike. Meanwhile, in Bali and Java, the costumes of the dancers
were very different from the musicians. Even more so in the case of dance with acting (Pewayangan) where the
costume to be worn was tailor made specifically for the character that was to execute the dance. When organizing
costume, certain rules have to be observed. They are: Costume mustn't restrict movement, be comfortable to
wear and easy on the eyes. Besides this is the matter of color which identifies the particular dance character.
In everyday life, there are many colors, but among them, there are only a few colors which can be worn as
symbolic of a certain dance. For example, the color red represents courage and is suitable for a tough character.
The color white is for purity and holiness and is usually worn by godly
characters in the dance, or any character who becomes a deity. It can even stand for youth or adolescence. Black
is used in a costume to indicate age. Of course, this doesn't mean that costume for a dancer has to rigidly ad here to this color system.
costume colors are made to conform with nature and natural color, as in the case of the water dance where
blue is used in the costume and in the wind dance, white is used, while other appropriate natural colors appear
in the costumes of other dances. In organization of dance costume in Bali, the styles and fashions are a result of development from traditional Balinese dress.
Traditional dress for dance has been elaborated and beautified and is usually strongly influenced by the former dress of the royal court.
Besides costume, makeup playas very important role in the production of a
staged dance performance. The style of makeup and how it is applied, creates a certain appearance that helps the
audience recognize the role of the dancer; and to know whether the character is good or bad, a servant or a
king. With all these things coming together with the addition of music, a Balinese dance performance is whole
and unified and ready to be presented to an audience.