THE FIRE DANCE, ULUWATU TEMPLE – The Kecak dance, or ‘Tari Kecak’, is a captivating traditional Balinese art performance, which also goes by, ‘the monkey chant dance’, and loosely ‘fire dance’, for its occasional use of fire as a centrepiece prop. The Kecak was created around 1930 and is now internationally recognised as one of Bali’s top-three signature dances (alongside the Barong and Legong). The Kecak dance is unique in that it has no other musical background or accompaniment besides the chanting of male dancers, intoning a “keh-chack” polyrhythmic choir during most of the performance. Kecak’s storyline is taken from the Ramayana Hindu epic and it’s often on the entertainment schedule of almost every Balinese arts and culture venue.
The main characters depict Rama, Sita, Ravana, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Sugriva. The storyline generally starts from when prince Rama goes to the woods with Sita, his wife, and Lakshmana, his brother. There, Ravana kidnaps Sita and imprisons her in his castle. Rama seeks for help and sends Lakshmana to find his friend, Sugriva, the King of the Monkey Kingdom. Hanuman, Sugriva’s commander, is sent to check on Sita in Ravana’s palace and Rama finally begins the battle.
Kecak Dance performances can be viewed at a few locations. Uluwatu Temple is the most popular and you do need to go early or book a tour in advance. Uluwatu Temple is located in Pecatu Village, Kuta Sub-District, Badung District, about 25km south of Kuta and it usually takes around one hour to get to from there. Daily Kecak performance is at 18:00.
INTERESTED TO VISIT? Visions of Bali offers tours and daily vehicle charters to this location and is operated by Pak Wayan and his friendly team of 11 vehicles. To book a tour, please visit our website at: www.visionsofbali.com