Maybe you’ve often watched the action of Kecak Dance while on vacation to Bali. However, do you know the history and origins of the dance? Apparently, Kecak Dance has a deep meaning related to beauty, religious values, and moral message.
Kecak Dance is usually called by the Cak Dance or Fire Dance. This dance is a mass entertainment dance that depicts a role of art and is not accompanied by musical instruments or gamelan. However, the music of this dance is a fusion of a group sound, around 70 people or more who danced in a circle. The men wear chequered sarongs and are seated in tight, concentric circles with a central space reserved for the protagonist characters.
Wayan Limbak is the figure who created Kecak Dance. In 1930, Limbak had popularized this dance abroad and was assisted by Walter Spies, a German painter. Tari Kecak actually originated from a Balinese ancient ritual called “Sanghyang Dance” in which dancers fall into a trance. The male dancers who dance Kecak will shout the word ‘Cak Cak Cak’. From that sound, then the name of the dance is Kecak Dance. In addition to shouting, Kecak Dance music also comes from the sound of rattle tied to the legs of dancers who spread the Ramayana figures. Inside the circle, the other dancer’s act the role. They play a dance inspired by the episode of the Ramayana story that saved Shinta from Ravana’s crime.
Best place to watch Kecak Dance are at Uluwatu Temple and Tanah Lot Temple. Other performances can be found easily all over Bali, such as at the GWK Cultural Park, Dalem Ubud Temple, the Padang Tegal Stage, Batubulan, , and many others.