September 8, 2016

Kecak Dance Bali - The Fire Dance Bali & Story

Kecak Dance Bali, Kecak Fire Dance Bali, Kecak Dance Bali Story, Kecak Dance in Bali

Kecak dance was created by I Wayan Limbak together with Walter Spies (German painter) around 1930s. Kecak as Balinese art performances comes from a ritual of Sanghyang dance. In Sanghyang dance, dancers are unconscious (trance) and forming contact with the Creator, holy spirit or ancestral spirits, which are then delivered the expectations to the public. Sanghyang dance is a sacral dance performed during religious ceremonies that aims to counteract the negative force (evil).

Kecak Fire Dance Bali, Kecak Dance Bali Story, Kecak Dance in Bali

Kecak Fire Dance Bali

Kecak involves many players, are divided into main dancers and complementary dancers (pengiring). The complementary dancers consist of tens of men, are in a circular position, encircle the dancers in the middle. Kecak dance is not accompanied by instruments of music, but a unique sound with a certain rhythm, chanted by complementary dancers. In the complementary members, there are members who serve to set the tone (tone-leader), the solo singer and the mastermind or "Dalang" as ruler of the story.

The main dancers use dance costumes conformed to the character portrayed. While the complementary dancers using black colored cloth on the inside covering the feet, coated by plaid cloth (black and white) on the outside, tied up with a red scarf around his waist and using flower in one ear.

Kecak also using some property, including property of the dancers, consisting of: oil lamps, place of the offerings, grincingan bracelets, tapel hanoman (mask), bow and others. Grincingan bracelets create tinkling noises, worn by the dancers. Oil lamps as lighting along with an offering are placed in the center and surrounded by the complementary dancers. The use of oil lamps as a torch for illumination is so unique and that's why Kecak in Bali is often called the fire dance or kecak fire dance Bali.

Kecak Fire Dance Bali, Kecak Dance Bali Story, Kecak Dance in Bali

Kecak Dance Bali Story

The theme shown in Kecak dane is taken from Ramayana, about Shinta being abducted by Ravana, taken to his palace in Alengka and ends with the story of Rama liberate Sintha. Kecak dancers are portrayed as Rama, Shinta, Ravana, Lakshmana, Hanuman, Sugriva, Princess Trijata, Golden Deer (Kidang Marica), and others.

The story begins when Rama, Shinta and Lakshmana are in the forest, the arrival of the golden deer that embodies The Giant Marica, until the success of Ravana kidnap Shinta (disguised as a hermit). Entered the second plot, Shinta appeared in the Angsoka Garden (Alengka) together with Princess Trijata, eldest princess of Wibhisana. Followed by appearance of Hanoman, brought news from Rama, ends with the burning of the garden and house in Alengka by Hanoman.

The third and fourth plot tells about the battle of Rama in the kingdom of Alengka. Initially Rama forces are defeated, but Rama managed to reverse the situation and win the battle with the help of Sugriva. Continues to the last plot, Shinta successfully saved by Rama and his forces, then back to Ayodya.

Kecak Fire Dance Bali, Kecak Dance Bali Story, Kecak Dance in Bali Kecak Fire Dance Bali, Kecak Dance Bali Story, Kecak Dance in Bali

Kecak Dance in Bali

Kecak begins with the complementary dancers entering the stage, moving around the oil lamps and offerings (in the middle). The complementary dancers will be sat around the main dancers, ranging chants the distinctive voice ”cak..cak..cak”, with a certain rhythm, and raising their hands up.

Kecak dance in Bali is truly captivating to the audience. This dance using a combination of clattering (grincingan bracelets) and variation of tones started by the tone-leader, assisted by solo singer and Dalang (ruler of the story).

Since the beginning of its creation, Kecak dance has grown even to the International. In 1979, Kecak dance ever staged involving 500 artists. Proceed with the latest record on 29 September 2006, the local government of Tabanan Regency, held a colossal Kecak dance performed by the number of 5,000 artists, in Tanah Lot Temple, Tabanan, Bali.


  2. _ Balinese Dance _ on September 6, 2016
  3. _ Kecak _ on September 6, 2016
  4. Image : Original Collection

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