Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple
November 23rd, 2020
After yesterday’s arrival at Uluwatu Temple, tonight we’re watching the Kecak Dance. The dance has an interesting origin as an adaptation of sanghyang, a repertoire of sacred dances in Bali — some of which are trance dances, during which a supernatural force enters the body of the performer(s).
In the 1930s, German artist Walter Spies (visiting Bali at the time) and Indonesian dancer Wayan Limbak developed Kecak from sanghyang, with the addition of the story of the Ramayana (epic poetry of ancient India). The Kecak dance has no music — only continual chanting (known as the monkey chant) by the large group of male performers who are vanaras, or forest dwellers, and present throughout the dance. Solo characters of the Kecak dance include Sita, Rama, Ravana and Hanuman. Understanding the battle portrayed during the dance would certainly take more than one performance, but the first impression was powerful.
I hope you enjoy the photos. The light was low and I didn’t use a flash or a tripod, I was standing where the performers entered the stage, and I can tell (from looking at my photos) that I was trying to watch as much with my eyes as I was with my camera. Not the most successful series of photos, but I do like the color and motion!
Tomorrow, I have one more (re)post from Bali before we get back on the magic carpet. We’ll visit a few villas and I’ll share some thoughts on how to make Bali a relatively affordable vacation. With recent vaccine news, maybe we can start travel dreaming again… What do you think?
Post of the Day: Adding a bit of light to the darkness as we get through the pandemic together. This series features travel photos from my archives, shared with you while staying close to home.