In the past, the sacred Gambuh dance was performed at ceremonies, usually in the kingdom's central pavilion or the center yard of a temple. Prior to the performance, respects are paid to the gods in order to ensure a smooth and successful show.
The gambuh is the oldest classical dance of Bali. This dance is known as a tribute to the king's relatives. The gambuh drama is about the adventures of Panji’s search for his lost beloved across the kingdoms of Eastern Java. Its movements reflect the dances from Hindu Java in the reign of Majapahit Empire, characterized by particular eye movements, a typical feature of Balinese dance in the pre-Hindu era.
The artistry of the Gambuh is enhanced by a gamelan pegambuhan orchestra, dominated by the sound of bamboo flute.