There are a lot of traditional Balinese dance performances all around the island, in particular also in the Ubud area. Each day, the locations change for the different dances. With two friends I visited a performance of the Kecak Fire & Trance Dance. It was a very impressive performance, 100 men sitting in circles around the center and accompanying the dance with music provided by the human voice. The performance tells a story which is a fragment from Ramayana, the hindu epic which finds its expression in many forms, not only dance but also painting and carving. I’m glad we read the story before otherwise we would have not known or understood what this is all about.
Here, the story in short:
The prince and his wife have been banished from the kingdom by the king himself. The story begins, when the prince and his wife with her brother arrive at a forrest. The trio has been observed by another king who’s after the beautiful princess. He has magical powers which he uses to kidnap the princess. The prince of course tries to rescue her. After some riots and commotion he of course succeeds. As you can tell, a monkey and a bird play some major roles as well.
After the “play” the scene changes completely and one men performs a fire dance …