All About Kecak Dance: Origins and Best Places to Watch
Kecak fire dance has been a must-do when travelling to Bali. It’s not a wonder because the dance is truly magical yet beautiful and even performed in a stunning venue overlooking sea sunset background like in Uluwatu. Before you watch the traditional dance, first you should know what’s the story is about and what were its origins. In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know about the dance and best places to watch Kecak Dance! Keep reading.
What is the Kecak Dance?
Kecak Dance is a traditional Balinese dance telling the love story of Rama and Shinta, who’s Shinta later kidnapped by Rahwana. Involving four main characters Rama, Shinta, Rahwana, and Hanoman, it also explains the story of how the Good prevails over the Evil. Kecak traditional dance involves 70 persons sitting in a circle formation, surrounding the fire, and shouting “cak cak cak” the whole show and several characters dancing amidst them. Uniquely, Kecak dance use no musical instrument. The music only comes from the shouting and bells attached to the dancers. However, the dance’s move and the “cak cak cak” sounds are still in tune, and that what makes it beautiful and must-watch when you visit Bali.
The origins of Kecak Dance
It’s Wayan Limbak, a Balinese artist, who created Kecak Dance in 1930 in collaboration with a German artist Walter Spies. Wayan Limbak was inspired by Balinese Sahnyang traditional dance, a sacred dance only performed for sacred rituals, and not just for show. The Sahnyang traditional dance also involves possession of Gods and deceased spirits over the performers. Kecak Dance started getting famous when Wayan Limbak, together with Walter Spies, tour around the world to introduce the fantastic dance.
Why is Kecak Dance a must-watch?
Yet very beautiful and amazing to watch, Kecak Dance has a lot of meaning behind its performance. From Shinta perspective, when she stays loyal to her love and partner, Rama. While Rama, who’s a Kshatriya, is not arrogant and be willing to sacrifice for someone he truly loves. On the other hand, Rama is also someone who’s involving God on every step he takes in his life. The Anoman character also teaches us that we cannot judge someone based on his or her looks. Even if Anoman looks like a monkey, he has a good heart and is willing to sacrifice himself for Rama.
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5 Best places to Watch Kecak Fire Dance
There are dozens of places to watch Kecak Fire Dance in Bali. From the temple’s settings, museum, restaurant, luxurious resort, finding a place to watch Kecak Dance should be easy in Bali. But to help you get the best experience in your short time in Bali, here are the curated lists of best places to watch Kecak Fire Dance in Bali.
Yet a stunning place, Uluwatu is one of the most popular places to watch Kecak Fire Dance. The location is in Uluwatu Temple, a temple perched on a seaside hilltop. Kecak Fire Dance will start at 7.30 PM when the starts to goes down. It means that you will see the magical performance with the backdrop of stunning sunset while the performers move dazzlingly.
One thing you need to know about watching Kecak Fire Dance in Uluwatu Temple is the monkey. Yes, there’s gonna be monkeys around the path to the temple and location of the dance. However, the monkey starts to disappear when the dance is going to start. Just beware that you have to be careful with your belongings from the monkey that might try to steal them.
2. Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot is another gorgeous place to see the dance, other than Uluwatu Temple. Set on Tanah Lot Temple, located in a cliff with beautiful rock formation, the dance is performed every day start from 6.30 PM. Unlike in Uluwatu Temple, the mystical dance will be performed after the sunset, allowing you to enjoy the sunset view until it’s ended. With the price of 80K IDR, watching the traditional dance in Tanah Lot is really worth your time and money!
3. Batu Bulan
Batu Bulan is a village located 10KM north of Denpasar. The dance will take place in Sahadewa starting from 6.30 PM. While in other places the dance is performed by artists, the dance in Batu Bulan is performed by villagers, mostly local farmers, showing the authenticity of the show. With their stunning performance, the village is already well-known for its Barong Dance and Kecak Dance.
The centre of art and culture of Bali, Ubud offers many options to watch the magical traditional dance. From Junjungan Village, Dalem Temple Ubud, Taman Sari Temple Ubud, to the Dalem Kaja Temple, you won’t lack of options to watch the dance when staying in Ubud. For the best experience, we recommend you to watch it in Dalem Kaja Temple and Pura Batukaru Ubud. In Dalam Kaja Temple, not only you’ll be pampered with magical background of its temple, but also the stunning performance involving fire. While in Pura Batukaru Ubud, the dance is uniquely performed by women. Imagine watching the mystical dance while around 100 women screaming “cak cak cak”. You’ll surely get a goosebump.
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5. Taman Budaya Garuda Wisnu Kencana
Often called as Taman Budaya GWK by Balinese, it’s a cultural park located only 10 minutes drive away from the Bali International Airport. It’s famous for a big statue of Wishnu God riding his mount, the Garuda bird. Taman Budaya GWK offers a venue able to host more than 400 people to watch Kecak Fire Dance. Enjoy the stunning performance of Kecak Dance with an amazing surrounding.
Visiting Bali without watching the Kecak traditional dance is incomplete. Bali has been strongly related to the dance since long time ago. When watching the dance, you’ll discover the more authentic and mystical side of Bali. For the best experience, try to come as early as possible to get the front or at least middle seat to watch. If you have any questions or need of assistance, feel free to comment below or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Have a nice travelling in Bali!