Kecak dance is a type of dance from Bali. This dance is performed by many shirtless male dancers who form a circular pattern while raising their hands up to a certain rhythm.
The clothes used by dancers are Balinese clothes that have a plaid pattern like a chessboard worn from the waist to above the knee. Here are some things you need to know about kecak dance.
History of Kecak Dance
The first artists to create the Kecak dance were Wayan Limbak and Walter Spies. These dances emerged because they were inspired by rituals commonly used by Balinese people. Then this dance was adapted by Hindus and included in the Ramayana story.
Until now, the Kecak dance has its own charm for both local and international tourists. This dance was first introduced in one of the villages in Bali, namely Bona Village. But over time, the Kecak dance continues to develop and is always danced in certain events that carry cultural themes.
Number of Kecak Dancers
In general, the Kecak dance is danced by 50 men. They made a “cak cak cak” sound so it sounded like acapella music. Among the 50 people, one person acts as the leader who sings the initial notes and one person acts as a suppressor who gives the low or high notes.
Meanwhile, there is one more person who functions as the puppeteer who leads the delivery of the story line. Actually, the number of dancers used varies, it can reach hundreds to thousands. In 1979, the Kecak dance was once danced by 500 dancers, and in 2006 there was even a mass dance with 5,000 dancers.
Movement and Properties Used
The movements performed by kecak dancers do not have to comply with certain rules. The movements tend to be more relaxed because what is more emphasized is the storyline conveyed and the mix of the dancers’ voices.
There are several properties that must be included in this dance, including black and white shawls, embers of fire, rattles, frangipani flowers, masks and offerings. The combination of these properties makes this dance have a mystical value and seem sacred.
The meaning of the Kecak dance performance
Kecak dance is considered a ritual dance to reject reinforcements and is inserted in the Ramayana story. This dance tells the story of the search for Empress Shinta by King Rama. This search was assisted by Hanoman who burned the place where Empress Shinta was held. Unfortunately Hanoman is surrounded and almost caught by Ravana.
This did not dampen King Rama’s persistence in saving his empress, so the king tried and prayed earnestly. In the end, Empress Shinta survived.
The meaning that can be taken is that love that is given sincerely will win with the sincerity and prayers of loved ones.