Kecak is one of the famous Balinese dance which tops the cultural experience of our trip. It’s unusual because there is no music and no songs accompanying this dance! Instea, the background is provide by a chanting ‘choir’ of men who make the ‘chak-a-chak-a-chak’ noise that distinguishes the dance.
The circle of men, all bare chest and wearing check cloth around their waists, produce the sound throughout the performance. They play the monkey army and fight Ravana. Chanting is accompanied by the movements of the monkey army and they sway back and forth, rise their hands in unison and flutter their fingers left and right. The coordination is amazing!
We watched the daily Kecak dance performance at the Uluwatu temple. It’s called ‘Kecak Ramayana & Fire Dance’ and the combination of an ancient ritual, dance, drama, sunset backdrop and cliff setting makes it a unique beautiful cultural experience.
It tells the tale of Ramayana, the quest of Rama to rescue his wife Sita after she is kidnapped by Ravana. The performance consists of 5 acts and they they give you a pamphlet describing the Acts.
Belonging to Hindu background, we could figure out what was happening. I guess it’s not easy for others to understand it as there’s no commentary or words! It still is not boring!
There were two interesting comic characters, Delem and Tualen who were servants of Rama and Ravana. Hanoman was very cheeky and cracked few joke 🙂
It’s good to see such cultural heritage which the future generations might not be able to experience! They say that if you can just watch one cultural performance in Bali, this should be the one.
Though it was extremely hot and humid when we were there, no regrets! Just be there early enough to grab a top seat from where you can click pictures easily and get a good angle to view the sunset!