Kecak: Watching This Traditional Performance Is A Bali Must Do

Kecak Bali

Heading to Bali? You must watch a kecak!

One of my favourite things to do is going through my photo hard drives and look at old photos from my round the world trip. I recently found some photos of when I was in Bali (in 2012) when I went to see the Kecak dance in the Bukit peninsula (the southern part of the island).

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From Seminyak, I drove my scooter south with friends who I had just met at my guesthouse. At the time, I was a Bali scooter novice. Normally, I can drive a scooter without any problems. But in Southeast Asia….it is overwhelming and scary. Yet somehow they make it work.¬†

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My friends and I threw ourselves into the Bali traffic frenzy and drove south to the Bukit peninsula. We got lost a few times but eventually made it to the temple. We saw the ocean and the monkeys and decided to stay for the Kecak performance at sunset. If you’re planning your Bali trip, I recommend paying the $7US entrance to see kecak. The backdrop of the Bukit peninsula together with the performance is amazing.

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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 is performed by a circle of 150 or more performers wearing checked cloth around their waists. They percussively chant "cak" and throw up their arms. The performance 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.

Kecak Bali

Kecak Bali

Bali

Kecak Bali

Kecak Bali

For a longer video version, click here

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