Kecak Dance History - Bali

Kecak Dance is a typical Balinese performing arts that was created in the 1930s and played mainly by men. This dance is performed by many (tens or more) male dancers who sat lined up in a circle and with a certain rhythm called "cak" and raised both arms, depicts the story of Ramayana when Rama's line of apes help fight Ravana. However, Kecak Sanghyang comes from the ritual, namely the tradition of dancing the dancers will be in unconscious condition, to communicate with God or the spirits of the ancestors and then convey its expectations to the public.

The dancers in the circle is wearing a plaid cloth like a chessboard their waist. Besides the dancers, there are also other dancers who portray the characters of Ramayana as Rhama, Shinta, Ravana, Hanuman, and Sugriwa.

Kecak dance songs taken from the ritual dances Sanghyang. Also, do not use musical instruments. Only used kincringan worn on the feet of dancers who portray the characters of Ramayana.

Tourists who are interested in watching Kecak can choose one of three locations the show, among other Luhur Pura Uluwatu, at the Village Batubulan, and Hanuman Road.
Kecak Dance Privileges :
Unlike other types of performing arts of Bali, Kecak Dance is unique because it does not rely on musical instrument to accompany the dance, but a chorus of dancers. The rhythm of sound "cak, cak, cak ..." arranged in such a way so as to produce an alloy that is very harmonious, interspersed with a few accents and other utterances. The dancers who rang the sound "cak, cak, cak ..." are usually bare-chested and wearing only cloth checkered like a chessboard that encircled their waists. While the figures of Rama, Sinta, Ravana, Hanuman, as well as general Sugriwa wear on the show ketoprak.

In this dance, rhythmic sounds spoken by the dancers bring an aura of mystical enough for the audience. Especially after the Ramayana story in this dance is complete staged, joined by dance performances and Sanghyang Jaran Sanghyang Dedari which the dancers believed to be possessed by spirits, which are immune when dancing in the embers of the fire. 

This dance is a dance to ward off evil spirits are staged by two girls who were virgins. While Sanghyang Jaran is a dance performed by men who possessed pranced like a horse's behavior and dancing in the embers of the fire. Because the hallmark of this Jaran Sanghyang Dance, Kecak Dance is also known as Kecak and Fire Dance (Kecak and Fire Dance). The final performances of this kind of bonus that can invite click amazed the audience. After the show, spectators are also welcome to take pictures with the dancers.
Kecak Dance Bali has continued to experience changes and developments since the 1970's. Progress can be seen is in terms of story and staging. In terms of story for staging not only based on the one part of the Ramayana but also other parts of the story from the Ramayana.
Then in terms of staging also began experiencing growth not only found in one place like the village of Bona, Gianyar but also other villages in Bali started to develop so that the Kecak dance in Bali there are dozens kecak group whose members are usually members of the banjo. Activities activities such as Kecak dance festivals are also often held in Bali either by governments or even by the art school in Bali. And the largest number of dancers who had performed the Kecak dance was recorded in 1979 which involved 500 people dancing. At that time kecak staged by taking the story from the Mahabharata. But the record is broken by the Government of Tabanan regency which organizes Colossal Kecak dancers to 5000 on 29 September 2006, at Tanah Lot, Tabanan, Bali.

Balinese Kecak Dance is the creation of a famous Balinese dancer, I Wayan Limbak, and a German painter, Walter Spies, the 1930's. At first, these two artists fascinated by the ritual dance in which the dancers danced Sanghyang in spirit possessed conditions (trance). Sanghyang ritual itself is a Balinese ritual derived from pre-Hindu tradition in order to resist the plague. This ritual was later adopted by I Wayan Limbak and Walter Spies became a performing arts to the public for display in various countries in Europe under the Kecak Dance.
Kecak Dance is played by a number of dancers (mostly men), between 50 to 150 people, with a duration of between 45-60 minutes. This dance compose vocal instrument of the dancers (a Cappella) with sound "cak, cak, cak ..." as he raised both arms to accompany the Ramayana epic story that became the main story in this dance. Therefore the spoken chorus dancers are considered similar to a monkey sound, then the foreign tourists often refer to this dance as "Mongkey Dance".
Snippet epic Ramayana is the source of the story is the story of abduction Dewi Sinta (Rama's wife) by King Ravana from Lanka country. In this dance described how Rama fought to free her lover, Dewi Sinta, who was kidnapped and taken away by Ravana. The story is getting exciting because the struggle of the Rama was assisted by Hanuman (the White Ape) and Sugriwa. In addition to enacting the epic story Ramayana, the Kecak Dance Dance also features Sanghyang Dedari and Sanghyang Jaran as closing the show. That is the uniqueness of Balinese Kecak dance.


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