KECHAK, SNGHYANG OR FIRE DANCE
"Cak-cak-cak" The obsessive sound of a choir from beyond the dust of ages suddenly rises between the lofty trees. Darkness looms over the stage. Hundred of bare-breasted men sit in a circle around the flickering light of an oil lamp chandelier "Cak-cak-cak" they start dancing to the rhythmic sound of their odd voices, their hand raised to the sky and body shaking in unison. This is the unique Kecak, perhaps the most popular of all Balinese dances.
Visitors won't leave this island before they attended a kecak performance. Originally the kecak was but an element of the older Sang Hyang trance dance. It is consisted of a male choir obsessively addressing its prayers to the souls of their ancestors. Upon the initiative of the painter Walter Spies, this religious choir was transformed in a dance, by insertion of narrative. This ballet is that of the Ramayana epic. The prince Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Laksmana are in exile in the middle of the forest. Rama goes hunting a golden deer at the request of his wife who has caught sight of the strange animal and asked her husband to catch it. While he is away, she is kidnapped by Rahwana and taken to the latter’s island kingdom of Alengka (Srilangka). Rama allies himself with the monkeys and in particular with the white monkey Hanuman. They build a bridge and cross to the island. War ensues and finally Rama who is again united with his faithful wife defeats Rahwana.SANGHYANG OR FIRE DANCE
Sang hyang or Fire dance have only been performed recently.
Their essential function is religious an exorcism of spirits that is supposed to promote peace and health within superb example of architecture.
It may be a channel for the visiting gods or demotic gods,
the dancers being then a sort of living repository; these are the trance dances such as the Sang Hyang Dedari, with little girls in trance, or the Sang Hyang Jaran, a fire dance.
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