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KECAK DANCE

KECAK DANCE

Tchakatchakatchaka.... You probably heard that poly rhythmic sound on your way here, or even before.

Kecak Dance is famous worldwide. It has been inspired artists from all horizons, including Fellini in Satyricon, Geinoh Yamashirogumi, composer of Akira’s Original Soundtrack, avant-garde band Devo, or Mike Patton’s Mr. Bungle, just to name a few.

History of Kecak dance is also one of diversity, an early example of cross-cultural artistic influences: Kecak dance was originally part of a trance ritual. At the beginning of the 20th century, Wayan Limbak, a famous Indonesian dancer, wanted to develop it as a art form, including element of Baris, a traditional Indonesian war dance. In the meantime, Walter Spies, famous German painter, heard the story and became highly interested in it (he was also a musician). He collaborated with Wayan Limbak to turn it as new form of dancing. Wayan Limbak travelled the world with performance groups and made Kecak dance famous worldwide.

The story is taken from the Ramayana: Rama and his wife Sita have been banished from the kingdom by King Dasarata, in a plot conducted by Rama’s stepmother. The performance begins with the arrival of Rama, Sita, and Rama’s brother Laksama in the forest. Rahwana, an evil demon, who has been observing them for a while, conspire to steal beautiful Sita from Rama. He sends Marica, one of his kingdom’s ministers to set a trap and allow him to kidnap Sita. Marica transforms into a golden deer, enchanting Sita who asks Rama to capture it for her. Rama leaves Sita to chase the deer, while his brother stays to protect her.

But Sita convinces Laksamana to go help Rama. Rama agrees, but draws a magical protection circle on the ground, advising Sita not to step out from it at any cost. But Rahwana, disguised as a poor old priest, asks for help and Sita falls for it. Rhawana captures her and brings her to her palace. Sita, with the help of Rahwana’s niece, sends a message to Rama and Laksama explaining she’s being held prisoner at the palace.

In the meantime, Rama and Laksama are attacked by Meganada, Rahwasa’s son. Meganada vanquished with a magical arrows that turns into a dragon. They are captured. Fortunately, the bird Garuda comes to the rescue and frees the two brothers. They can continue their search for Sita, with the help of Sugriwa, king of the monkeys, and his army. The story ends with the defeat of Meganada and the rescue of Sita.

Kecak dance performances are held in numerous places in Bali, such as the Uluwatu and the Tanah Lot temples or in Ubud.
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Born in 1970, Gusti Agung Wiranata inherated Walter Spies’ taste for dreamy landscapes. Despite some criticism pointing out his works as blatant copies of Walter Spies’ paintings, Gusti Agung Wiranata’s painting has defintely a soul of its own, adding his own sensitivity as well as more serenity in his work than the German artist. As ...

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Born in 1942, I Dewa Nyoman Batuan often painted natural landscape, religious and magical aspect of Bali and Hindu Dharma. He is also the founder, along with other artists, the Pengosekan Community of Artists in 1970. You can admire his work at his gallery in Pengosekan the Neka Museum in Ubud and Agung Rai Museum ...

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