Kecak Dance – The Monkey Chanting Dance
With a history so rich and rooted in cultural traditions, Bali is known for its unique Kecak Dance. This legendary dance has captivated audiences and visitors from all over the world. You should definitely find time to see the Kecak Dance during your visit to Bali!
What is the Kecak Dance?
As with many Balinese art performances and dances, the Kecak Dance is one that narrates an epic tale within the Balinese mythology. The dance narrates the story of Ramayana and dates back to the 1930’s when it was first conceived. It is traditionally performed by a group of 30 or more bare-chested Balinese men. However, in 2006 the first groups of Balinese women have also begun to perform the Kecak Dance.
The name “Kecak” is actually referring to the trance-like chanting that the performers vocally say during the dance. It is believed that the performers even fall into a voluntary possession during the Kecak Dance. There is also a belief among the locals that when you watch the Kecak Dance, you must pay attention to the story, otherwise viewers may become possessed as well – this of course is just myth that the locals like to use to make matters more interesting! We hope.
Where to watch it
Pura Luhur Uluwatu, Uluwatu
If you’re up for a longer drive however, there is the famous Kecak Dance performed at the southern tip of Bali, in Uluwatu Temple. This location has a unique charm to it because of the open view to the Indian Ocean as the backdrop. You can enjoy a spectacular sunset as the dance is performed.
Pura Dalam Kaja, Ubud
As the cultural heart of Bali, one of the best places to watch the Kecak Dance is in Ubud, in the Pura Dalam Kaja. For those who are new to Bali, if you’re heading to Ubud, we recommend taking a shuttle or motorbike as parking for cars can be a little tricky. Luckily, Ubud is not too far from Mara River Safari!
A visit to Bali wouldn’t be complete without seeing the rich cultural scene. So, make sure you find time to see the Kecak Dance, as well as other traditional Balinese Dances!