Above all, if you have been on holiday to Bali island, I’m sure most of you have watched the Balinese Kecak Fire dance. Particularly the Kecak dance performance at Uluwatu Temple Bali. What about you who have never watched the Kecak dance in Bali? Are you interested in attending the Kecak dance while on holiday in Bali? If so, on this page, I will write detailed information about the Balinese Kecak dance.
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How Is Kecak Dance Like?
For those of you who have never seen the Kecak dance but have heard of the Kecak dance, then most likely, you will ask, what is the Kecak dance?
Kecak dance is one of the regular traditional dances of the island of Bali, which offers the concept of dance drama. Most of the dance drama stories in the Kecak dance are based on the Ramayana story. Of the many Balinese dances, the Kecak dance is unique compared to other Balinese dances.
When you watch the Kecak dance, you will hear the sound of Cak, Cak, Cak, the distinctive sound you will listen to when watching the Balinese Kecak dance performance.
The Kecak dance does not use musical instruments like Gamelan to accompany the dancers, instead using the voice from the mouth of the dance accompanist.
Apart from not using musical instruments to attend the dance, the number of participants is also huge. The average number of participants for the Kecak dance is about 50 people, up to 150 people, excluding the leading dancers.
Furthermore, most of the dance participants are men. Then, the dance participants will sit cross-legged to form a vast circle.
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Kecak Dance Costume
Furthermore, the costumes used by the dance accompaniment are in the form of a sarong and a black and white square cloth wrapped around the waist. In addition, the dance accompanist does not use clothes to cover the body above the waist.
While the prominent dancers will use colourful costumes and crown decorations on the head, the outfit is according to the character’s act in the dance drama.
For accompaniment dancers, they will dance with up and down hand movements while moving their feet. In addition to moving the hands and feet, the dancer’s accompaniment makes a “cak cak cak” chorus. The “cak cak cak” chorus is arranged in such a way as to imitate the sound of the Gamelan.
Cak, Cak, Cak sounds beautifully rhythmic even without musical instruments, like acapella music. One accompanist dancer will give voice cues to other dancers, and sometimes the voice cues for low and high-tone notes.
In addition, several accompanist dancers also sang Balinese songs, which were sung in harmony while dancing. Most of the song sung by the dancer is from the Sanghyang dance.
Meanwhile, the leading dancers who play roles as characters in the dance drama stories their movements are much more complex. The dance movement is according to the character played by the dancer; some dancers play the characters Hanuman, Rama, and Dewi Sita.
For the Main dancers who bring the story, their dance movements do not have to be identical or have a particular form. The leading dancers in the Kecak dance focus more on specific actions based on the story of the dance drama. For example, one of the Balinese dances with a particular format, such as the Manukrawa dance.
History of Balinese Kecak Dance
According to Wikipedia, the creators of the Balinese Kecak dance were Mr. Wayan Limbak and Mr. Walter Spies around the 1930s. Mr. Walter Spies is a painter from Germany who lives on the island of Bali.
The initial idea for the Kecak dance came from the Sanghyang dance. Furthermore, there are many types of Sanghyang dance, such as the Sanghyang Jaran (Horse) dance and the Sanghyang Dedari (Angel) dance. For your information, the Sanghyang Dance is sacred. It is only performed during temple ceremonies at certain Balinese Hindu temples.
By combining the concept of movement and sound of the Sanghyang dance, Mr. Wayan Limbak and Mr. Walter Spies created the Kecak dance with a dance drama idea and took the Ramayana’s story. So, what dance moves inspired the Balinese Kecak dance movement? Then, the answer is the Sanghyang dance movement.
Mr Wayan Limbak often performs Kecak dances in the Gianyar district and performs dance performances abroad. With time, the Kecak dance began to be recognized by Balinese people in other regions.
What Is The Purpose of the Balinese Kecak Dance?
Kecak dance is a dance drama with the initial use for entertainment purposes. In contrast, the Sanghyang dance is a procedure for declining evil spirits in the Balinese Hindu tradition. Also, the Sanghyang dance is only performed during religious ceremonies at Hindu temples.
Although the Balinese Kecak Dance is not classified as a sacred dance, before the Kecak dance performance begins, a stakeholder (Hindu priest) will lead prayers and pray for mutual safety.
Kecak Dance Themes & Stories
Most of the Kecak fire dance in Bali takes the theme of the Ramayana story by portraying several famous figures, such as:
- Rama is a good-looking young man and the King of Ayodya.
- Dewi Sita is a beautiful woman with a pure heart and a wife of Rama.
- Hanoman, the white ape-man.
- Ravana, the King Of Alenka, is a giant with an evil character.
Balinese Kecak dance performances that take the theme of the Ramayana story will tell about the kingdom of Ayodya. The King of Ayodya was named Rama. Due to the conflict in the royal family, Rama had to isolate himself in the forest.
Dewi Sita is Rama’s wife and Rama’s little brother named Laksamana. Dewi Sita and Laksamana insisted on following Rama in exile in the forest. In the forest, the evil Ravana from the Alenka kingdom kidnaps Dewi Sita.
Then Rama & Laksamana headed to the Alenka Kingdom to get Dewi Sita. Rama & Laksamana were assisted by Vanaras (monkeys), led by Hanuman, to attack the Alenka kingdom to save Dewi Sita.
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Where To See Kecak Dance Performance In Bali?
Are you wondering where to see Kecak Dance in Bali? On the island of Bali, the Kecak dance is performed in several places. There is a Kecak dance performance in Bali almost every day, especially the Kecak dance performance in the Uluwatu temple.
If you have never watched a Kecak dance performance in Bali, here are some of the best locations you can visit to observe the Bali Kecak dance:
1. Uluwatu Temple
The most famous Kecak fire dance performance in Bali is in Pura Luhur Uluwatu. Pura Luhur Uluwatu/Uluwatu temple is one of the renowned tourist attractions in Bali.
The distance of the Uluwatu temple from Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport is about 21 kilometres, and it takes about 50 minutes to drive. Please click the link below to see the map location of the Uluwatu Temple in Bali.
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The Balinese Kecak fire dance at Uluwatu temple starts at sunset around 18:00 and ends at 19:00. What makes the Kecak fire dance performance in the Uluwatu temple so famous? Because the background for the Kecak dance performance is in the form of sunset scenes and views of the Indian Ocean.
The best way to travel to the Uluwatu temple to watch the Kecak dance is to book a car rental service in Bali with drivers and fuel. There is no public transportation to escort you back to your hotel in the Uluwatu area.
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Uluwatu Temple Kecak Fire Dance Performance
Kecak fire dance performances at the Uluwatu temple are held daily, starting at 6 p.m., on an open stage. The audience of the Kecak dance provided a seat higher than the stage. So that the audience is more flexible when watching the Kecak fire dance performance.
If you look down from the cliff, you will know the Uluwatu temple, built on a high ridge with a stretch of the Indian Ocean. Therefore, it makes the atmosphere of the Kecak Fire Dance at Uluwatu Temple near the night more exciting. Plus, the torch lights are lit, which makes the Kecak dance at Uluwatu temple look even more unique.
Usually, tourists who want to watch the Kecak dance will arrive early and have already booked their Kecak dance Bali Uluwatu ticket in advance. Before watching the Kecak dance at Uluwatu Temple, tourists will take a walk to enjoy the beautiful view of the southern sea and the sunset view around the area of the Uluwatu Temple.
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Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance Ticket Prices
To watch the Kecak dance performance at the Uluwatu temple, each spectator charged a ticket price of IDR 150,000 for an adult and a child is IDR 75,000. The Uluwatu Temple Kecak dance ticket prices, are published, and you will get them if you buy the tickets onsite.
Because the Uluwatu Kecak Dance is very popular, book a Kecak Dance Bali Uluwatu ticket as early as possible, at least three days before the date you want to see the Kecak Dance. For your information, you can book Kecak Dance Uluwatu tickets online at lower prices.
For your information, the Uluwatu Kecak dance staging location is inside the Uluwatu temple. Therefore, visitors must pay for entrance tickets to Uluwatu Temple. Want to know how much the entrance fee for Pura Luhur Uluwatu is? Please click the link below!
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Uluwatu Kecak Dance Faq
Below is the list of frequently asked questions from our customers.
The stage shape in a semi-circle, therefore, gets a higher seat in the middle position, which is facing the Indian Ocean, which is the best seat that you can get. You can’t reserve a seating position for Uluwatu Kecak Dance. All you need to do is to come early, around 17:00, before the ticket counter opens. You wait there until the gate opens, then pick your seat.
The Kecak dance show proceeds even during the rain, so it is always better to bring a raincoat or umbrella if you find a higher chance of precipitation.
The Kecak dance show ends around 19:00, which is already dark. My recommendation is that you book a car with a driver in Bali, and your private driver will pick you up when the Kecak dance show ends. Also, you can book a self-drive car hire or rent a motorbike.
The toilet is available in the vehicle parking area, which is quite far from the stage.
2. Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
Besides, at Pura Luhur Uluwatu, you can also watch the Kecak dance performance at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Ungasan.
The Kecak dance performance at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park starts at 18:30 at the GWK amphitheatre. There is no fee to watch the Kecak dance performance at GWK Bali. However, to enter the GWK Bali tourist area, each visitor will be charged an entrance fee.
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To make it more comfortable for you to find the location of the Bali GWK, please use Google Maps by clicking the link below!
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3. Sahadewa Batubulan
The third location for the Bali Kecak dance performance is in Sanggar Sahadewa Batubulan. The Kecak dance performance at Sahadewa Batubulan starts at 18:30 to 19:30 and is available daily. As for the Barong and Keris dance performances at Sahadewa Batubulan, they start at 09:30 – 10:30 in the morning.
To watch the Kecak dance Sahadewa Batubulan, each audience must pay an entrance fee of IDR 150.000 / person.
The address of Sahadewa Batubulan is at Jalan SMKI No. 25 Batubulan, Gianyar Regency – Bali. Therefore, to make it more straightforward for you to find the location of Sahadewa Batubulan, please use Google Maps by clicking the link below!
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