Thursday, March 12, 2015

Kecak Dancing in Bali

When I was in Bali last summer, my grandmother kept talking about the Kecak dance, a Balinese dance where a group of men wearing checkered clothing all chant "cak" percussively while drumming on their arms, legs, and the floor. While they do this, dancers act out a Hindu legend where Prince Rama, along with a monkey-man named Vanara defeats the evil King Ravana and rescues his love, Princess Sita.

There is also fire, trance-dancing, and really cool costumes. 

The show begins with this the appearance of the checkered cloth, "cak" singers, then we get into the story. First we meet the heroes, Prince Rama and Princess Sita.

The evil Ravana appears to abduct Princess Sita!

But with the help of the white monkey Vanara, Prince Rama manages to rescue the princess.

Once the dance is done, they brought out this guy for the trance dance. I'm not sure what they did to him (or if he was really in a trance), but he jumped into the hot coals without a second thought.

Towards the end, the men in checkered clothes were dragging him away before he could jump in again!

After the show we had plenty of opportunities to take pictures and explore the set. As we were returning to the car though, a group of Javanese school girls swarmed my cousin from New Zealand, hugging him and lining up to take pictures with him. After questioning some people we discovered they thought he was famous and wanted pictures with him. Strangely, this was only the first of many similar instances on the trip. By the end of the week, we were all calling him Justin Bieber!

If you're in Bali, make sure you check out the Kecak dance. And if you see any schoolgirls, run before they can start demanding selfies with you!

1 comment :

  1. Poor girls must have been a little disappointed! The colours are all so pretty, but the trance dancing freaks me out no end.