The Kecak dance is a must-see if you’re going to Bali, Indonesia! It is a wondrous experience, and a window into the musical and artistic culture that make the Balinese special.
When I was in Bali, I talked to my tour guide and asked “where is the best Kecak Dance in Bali?..” He replied “in Uluwatu, adi..” So my tour guide,my mom and I went to Uluwatu on a Friday afternoon. When we arrived in Uluwatu, it was sunset. I immediately fall in love with the beautiful sunset in Uluwatu,is so beautiful!! But my main goal is to see this famous Kecak Dance.
Of all the dances seen on Bali today, the Kecak dance is perhaps the most dramatic. Kecak is a form of Balinese music drama, originated in the 1930s and is performed primarily by men. Also known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant, the piece, performed by a circle of 100 or more.
Kecak was originally a trance ritual accompanied by male chorus. German painter and musician Walter Spies became deeply interested in the ritual while living in Bali in the 1930s and worked to recreate it into a drama, based on the Hindu Ramayana and including dance, intended to be presented to Western tourist audiences. This transformation is an example of what James Clifford describes as part of the "modern art-culture system.
What makes the Kecak such a fascinating dance to watch are the fifty or so men in the checkered pants. They are both the choir and the props, providing the music for the story in a series of constant vocal chants that change with the mood of the actors. They don’t sit still, either, they wave their arms to simulate fire, and reposition themselves around the stage to represent wind and fire, prison cells, and unseen hand of protection from the gods.
Attending a Kecak recital is a must-see for any visitor to Bali. It is a wondrous experience, and a window into the musical and artistic culture that make the Balinese special people. Especially if you’re a lomographer and bring all of your cameras. It’s definitely a unforgettable experience and viewing the kecak dance while I shoot with my lomos is a great feeling too. Come on people,you go to Bali and watch this dance. it’s a “whooooaaaaaaaaaa” experience :)