The number of regular Kecak dance stage is not as much as Barong dance stages, yet the number of association or villages have a group of Kecak dance are many. Some regular show of Kecak dance can be found at Kesiman, just 1 km on the left side of Ngurah Rai street entering the street known as Waribang. The dance is started at 6.00 pm in a well prepared stage special for the show of Kecak dance. The entrance ticket is Rp 120.000 (approx US$ 12 ) per person at Uluwatu temple, and Rp 80.000 ( approx US$ 8 ) per person at other stages. Second regular show is at the village meeting hall of Banjar Buni Sari Kuta, the border between Tuban and Central Kuta. Yet after the writer checking with the guardian of the meeting hall it seems that the dance is not regularly continuous anymore, there are some intermittent day. The third stage is at Bona village, Kecamatan Sukawati, Gianyar. Bona is the small town known for it's bamboo furniture.
Kecak Dance is a newly created dance which was created in 1930 by Balinese artist together with Dutch painting artist Walter Spies. At the time Walter Spies lived in the town of Denpasar which was only a real small town with only one main road in the middle of the town we know now as Jalan Gajah Mada. While Walter Spies is said to have stayed at Kayu Mas village, around 1 km from the center of the town, and close to the palace of Badung which is now we know as city square and Bali Museum. Kecak dance has become so popular among travelers of the five continents due to its character which is real dynamic and suitable with their spirit that is often expressed in cafes with discos although in different expression and style.
Sightseeing with Kecak Dance
A tour program that includes a visit to Kecak dance show can be selected from the list of optional tours by returning back to the previous page or click the Bali Tour Program, or click first the text with link Uluwatu Kecak tour at the right side of this text. Seeing from the fragment and style of the dance writer think that the dance has got the inspiration from the tradition of north Bali men which is called megenjekan, a situation of relaxing after harvesting time while enjoying drink together on an altar with roof and open sided, making choir with the same rhythm and temp, dancing to express their emotion together with their companion for drinking on the pavilion. Yet it seems that not all in complete manner that this tradition was copied for the new Kecak dance, as during the presentation on the stage this dance is far more refined both from the theme, costume and all aspects of the dance. While for megenjekan at north Bali which is practiced by men has no plot of theme or has no frame of concept, just what appear from their head then others follow. The similarity of megenjekan and Kecak dance that soon identified is both without musical instrument, both use human voice as the music audicy to back up the whole presentation from the beginning up to the end. The choir is presented by men of around 50 persons or more with only view syllables such as " cak cak .. cak ..., syur, syir" which are tensioning or lowering according to their emotion and situation of the dialog. This rhythm of the choir is aimed to back up the spirit of the dance just as the music plays role to a drama with music to back up or follow up and down tension and character being performed. What is specific to this dance is the costume of the men which is only below body only that is covered with chequered cloth, while brest up is bare.
The number of dances are in big numbers which is often giving an impression that the dance is a mass dance. Chequered cloth which resemble the chess board is much used by Balinese to homage the nature. For example attached on the big trees, so people will not cut or even giving small trouble to the trees. Lately a small altar will be built on the bottom of the trees and given the chquered cloth which means that no one can trouble the tree. It is used also on the places where one think that people start to damage forest, and here will be put small altar with chequered cloth, and some time with the sculpture of Ganesha to make the people wish to cut trees made to feel deterred.
Theme of the Dance
Most of Kecak dance take Ramayana Epic as the theme of their dance, especially the episode of Prince Rama and his wife Princess Shinta and his brother Laksamana as the legal heirs of the throne were exiling themselves to the forest to give his brother Bharata to sit on the throne. This exile has brought the situation become fatal for them when Princess Shinta was abducted by the king of Demon of Alengka Pura. The abduction of Princess Shinta is the start of the big war called Bharata Yudha between Prince Rama assisted by the fleet of monkeys soldiers and the demon fleet of Rahwana of Alengka Pura. This is to teach people that everything of big or small conflict can be started by a woman that a man overprotects even to leave the throne and pampering life, and for a woman this is a learning that loyalty will win in whatever condition. The theme of the epic which is presented with Balinese spirit is very suitable for any age of Balinese, that is why actually Kecak dance has been reaching so much popularity compared to any dances that Bali has so far. Although the theme is taken from Indian epic, but in physical appearance and spirit are real Balinese. There is no flicker of indication of India. This is the correct adoption of a culture which leaves the original tradition incorporates the foreign aspect and used it to enrich their tradition, do not change totally into foreign culture that can eliminate their personality to become people who do not fit to anywhere. Even some think that it was happened Balinization of all foreign aspects, as it will be very ifficult for Indian to identify weather the dance is given Indian aspect unless they read the story first, and watch the dance many times, but not for Balinese, as they will soon understand what the dance is meant. At one point this dance has shown to the people that how big the role of the patriotism in the life of the people, and the role of woman on the side of a man as life partner as the key of the success. It is given an exaple that the hard struggle of war even to face such a strong power like Alengka Pura with much more soldier in number. The appeal of Princess Shinta has arising such a great power of Prince Rama to subdue a great kingdom of Alengka Pura and the dance ended with a happy unity of both.Angklung Music
Devdan Nusa Dua Theatre
Erau Tribal Festival
Kecak and Fire Dance
Pasola Reba and Nagi
Wayang Puppet Show
Among various tour packages and tour options in Bali there are some tours which can be said always on the publications and interest a large part of travellers to Bali. Kintamani mountain tour sits at the first number as the most popular sightseeing tour, second is Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot tour, third is Uluwatu temple tour.
- Kintamani tour bring combination of watching barong dance, beautiful temple architecture, beautiful natural views, dance, carving, accessories and painting see description
- Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot temples are two historical heritages from 17th, Taman Ayun palace temple which is always found near palaces of Balinese king starting 18th century see description
- Uluwatu temple located on steep drop cliff on the southernmost tip of Bali island. see description