Kecak and Fire Dance - Dietrich Herlan | Travel Photography

Kecak and Fire Dance

One of the main attractions of Bali, the Uluwatu temple is located at one end of the island, on the edge of a cliff. It is a mystical and beautiful place to meet in the late afternoon when the sun goes down.

Kecak is the most unique Balinese dance which is not accompanied by any orchestra/gamelan but by a choir of seventy men it has its origin in an old ritual dance. “Sanghyang” or Trance dance. In the sanghyang dance a person in a state of trance communicates with deities or ancestors. Using the dancers as a medium, the deities or ancestors convey their wishes in the 1930’s the old Indian epic Ramayana was include into the dance. Briefly the story runs as follow:

Due to a wise prince of Ayodya Rama the legal heir to the throne of Ayodya was exiled from the realm of his father Dasarata. Accompanied by his wife Sita and his younger brother Laksamana they went into the forest called Dankada. While they were in the forest the demon King Rahwana found them and lusted after the beautiful Sita. Accompanied by his prime minister Marica, they made a trick to steal Sita. Using his magic power Marica transformed himself into golden deer. Disguised as a golden deer they succeeded in luring Rama and Laksamana away from Sita. Rahwana making use of this opportunity, kidnapped Sita and took her to his palace Alengka. Discovering the deception Rama and Laksamana, set out to rescue Sita from the clutched of the demon king assisted by the huge army of monkey under the command of their king (Honoman). Rama succeeded in getting his wife back safely. Some episodes of this epic are represented in the following acts:

1. Rama, Sita and golden deer Rama.

Sita and Laksamana enter the arena, then a golden deer appears. Sita ask Rama to capture the deer for her, Rama leaves Sita under Laksamana protection. Soon, a cry for help is heard. Sita think is the voice of Rama and sends Laksamana to help him. At first Laksamana refuses leave her alone. Being accused of expecting Rama’s death so that he can marry her, Laksamana becomes very angry and leaves alone.

2. Sita, Rahwana, Bagawan and Garuda

Rahwana appeared and wanted to kidnap Sita. But he failed and then by his bad mind changed himself to be Bagawan a thirsty (old man). He asked Sita for a glass of water. Sita took a pity to see him, then she brought him a glass of water. But suddenly the old man took Sita away. Sita cried and shouted asking for help her shouting was heard by the Garuda. Then he helped Sita he fought against Rahwana but failed and got injured in his wings and Rahwana brought Sita Alengka Pura.

3. Twalen, Rama, Laksamana and Hanoman

Rama and his brother Laksamana were being lost with their servant in Ayodya Pura forest. He remembered with his wife Dewi Sita that has been taken away by Rahwanana to Alengka Pura. Then he met Hanoman (White Monkey). Rama asked to meet his wife. “Sita” in Alengka Pura. Hanoman went to Alengka Pura by bringing Rama’s ring order to be given to Dewi Sita.

1. Sita, Trijata and Hanoman

Accompanied by Trijata, Rahwana Niece. Sita is bemoaning her misfortune in the garden of Rahwana’s palace. Hanoman (a monkey white) appears. He tells Sita that he is Rama’s enjoy and shows her Rama’s ring. Sita gave him a hairpin to be taken to Rama with a message that she is waiting for Rama’ rescue. And Hanoman headed for Alengka Pura park, then damage it so made it in disorder. That servants of Alengka Pura were survised to see it because it has been in serious condition and then told giants to look for those who made the damaged. They cashed Hanoman and then bound and burned it. Because of the supernatural power of Hanoman (the white monkey). Finally, he escaped from the death.

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