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Kecak Dance

A ritual dance created in the early 1930's for the movie "Island of the Demons" by the German painter and intellectual Walter Spies who combined the chorus of the Sanghyang trance dance with a story from the Ramayana legend. . The Kecak dance involves a chorus of at least hundreds of bare-breasted  men. They sit in a concentric circles around an oil lamp chandelier. " cak-cak-cak-cak ". They start dancing to the rhythmic sound of their own voices, their hands raised to the sky and bodies shaking in unison.

This is the unique  Kecak, commonly called the "Monkey Dance" by the tourists, because at the end of the play the men become the monkey (Hanuman) army sent to rescue Sita (the wife of Prince Rama- who is kidnapped by Rahwana). The cak sound also resembles the chattering of monkeys.

Kecak is performed solely for tourists. One would never see it in a temple ceremony. Even though it has its roots in the Sanghyang trance dances, the Kecak dancers themselves do not go into trance.

Performances are held at the Arts Center, Denpasar, daily from 6:30 p.m., also in Banjar Buni, Kuta, Sunday from 8 p.m., and in Banjar Tegal, Ubud, Sunday from 6:00 p.m.

 

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