Kecak: Watching This Traditional Performance Is A Bali Must Do
Heading to Bali?
I love going through my hard drive and looking at photos that take me back to a fond memory. When I was in Bali and went to see the Kecak dance in the Bukit peninsula in the southern part of the island. I remember that day so well. I drove my scooter down to Uluwatu with friends who I had just met. I was a Bali scooter novice at the time. I can drive a scooter when there are road rules, but in Southeast Asia….it was overwhelming and scary. It’s still overwhelming and scary but somehow they and I make it work.
My friends and I threw ourselves into the crazy of Bali traffic and drove south to the Bukit peninsula. We got lost a few times but eventually made it to the temple and then decided to stay for the Kecak performance at sunset. It’s a wonderful cultural performance and I recommend paying the whopping $7 for it. The backdrop of the Bukit peninsula is amazing. What a glorious day and night it was. I was so proud of my driving skills and returning safely to our accommodations.
What is kecak?
Kecak is a form of Balinese dance and music drama. It originated in the 1930s in Bali and is performed primarily by men. Also known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant, the piece, performed by a circle of 150 or more performers wearing checked cloth around their waists, percussively chanting “cak” and throwing up their arms, depicts a battle from the Ramayana where the monkey-like Vanara helped Prince Rama fight the evil King Ravana. However, Kecak has roots in sanghyang, a trance-inducing exorcism dance.