Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kecak Dance in Bali

One of the greatest holidays that my friend had was in Bali Island, in Indonesia. If I were asked for a reason that made it outstanding, I would be looking for the answer. I think it is the natural blends of the scenic beauties of the island, the rich cultural heritage and the friendly native people that had create the different.

On the night of our arrival, we decided to visit the famous of the Bali dance, the Kecak Fire Dance. Usually the dance was at sunset and near the beach, but also can do in other place.

On the way, we stopped at an old Hindu temple, a temple full of monkeys. Tourists were reminded to take care of their belongings especially the sunglass and handbags. The monkeys were fond of grabbing the sunglass and actually wore them and run off to the roof top. There is very hard to get it back from him.

When we arrived at the dance stage, the sun was setting. We paid off the entrance fees in Rupiah and sat on the terrace style chair around the dance floor. The atmosphere was dark and the whole area was only lit by the burning bonfire. We must respect the local customs, as the dance can not be apart of the religious believes of the Balinese. The deities and customs are always believed and practiced by some local Balinese.

The show held without life music. The stunning voice of the dancers was the musical background for the dancers to dance in trance. Over 50 bare-chested male dancers are swaying their body and hands uttering cak-cak-cak, some dancers imitating the sound of monkeys of Hanuman, the friendly and power full monkey king and his troops that helped Rama. The chanting sound of Cak-cak-cak gave the dance its name, the Kecak dance.

The dance retold there story of the epic. Rama had to leave Sita alone and out of his fear for her safety, he had casted his spell to guard Sita. However the evil Rahwana tricked Sita with his golden deer and abducted her to his Island of Lengka. Then the war began, and with the help of the white monkey king, Hanuman, Rama defeated his enemy and saved his wife.

The story was full with excitements of magic and wizards, translated into the movements of the dance. Only those who read the story will able understand them. The Kecak dance is a must see attraction to visitors. It is part of the unique Bali culture which is rare to find nowadays.

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