Playwrights, practitioners, and art historians have been shocked and inspired by Balinese theatre time and time again because it reveals the extent of devotion the Balinese have for their religion. Although many researchers have investigated the functionality through the performance aspect of the play, there is a lack of published research devoted how the functionality of the ritual and play are influenced by the physical aesthetic properties of the Barong and Rangda mask. The theatrical aspects are to be considered through investigating these masks in relation to the temple space of the Taman Aran. By investigating the aesthetic properties of the Barong and Rangda in relation to the Taman Aran temple through investigating the correlation between the functionality of the play and the effects of the aesthetic features, we have found that the masks act as a catalyst to physicalize and magnify the unseen battles between Rangda and Barong into human flesh within structure and perimeter in order to ultimately soothe the audience’s conscience by capping the performance and reinstating the spirits to their original place. Thus, our study reveals that the Balinese culture does not have a religion wholly devoted not to defeat “evil”, but rather devoted to awakening the mind to these supernatural forces in their daily lives.
Payne, Chandler and Park, John, "The Gods Come For Play: Visualizing the Divine in Balinese Theatre" (2012). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 72.