Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Balinese Kecak Trance Dance

The Balinese have a long and rich religious history, mainly Hindusim, though there are elements of Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism around.  Lots of gods, lots of temples.  Each house has a minimum of 4 temples in their yard, and usually around 7.  The complexity decoration of the temple will be in step with the family's means.

We saw a really interesting performance of the Kecak Trance Dance (Kechak / Ketjak / Ketjack); here’s a video clip of one from the excellent movie Baraka (1992):
(Watch full screen, with speakers turned up!)

There’s quite an interesting story of how this dance came about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kecak (“the West or the central power adopts, transforms, and consumes non-Western or peripheral cultural elements”)  And now my photos:
dance
Getting into the rhythm

dance
One of the mesmerizing parts of the dance!

dance
Hanuman (monkey god) doing his thing

dance
Perfectly coordinated dancers using very delicate movements of their fingers, faces, arms, legs, etc.

dance
Kicking & walking on coconut husk coals (using a horse (?) costume).

dance
The fire-walker taking a well earned rest.

 

dance
Stone version of two-person dance costume