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Dalem Temple, Taman Kaja
Sriwedari Street, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali - Indonesia
Email : Info@fabulousubud.com
Group : Krama Desa Adat Taman KajaDay : Wednesday & Saturday / Time : 7:30pm / Venue : Pura Dalem Taman Kaja, Ubud
Kecak is a form of Balinese dance and music drama based on ancient Sanghyang trance rituals that developed in the 1930s in Bali. Kecak gets its name from the sound of the performer chanting “cak-cak-cak” which is reminiscent of chattering monkeys. Primarily male chorus, called the Gamelan Suara, performs this dance. Also known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant, the piece, performed by a circle of 150 or more performers wearing checked cloth around their waists, percussively chanting "cak" and throwing up their arms, depicts a battle from the epic, Ramayana. These men sit in a concentric circle singing, swaying, standing and sometimes lying prone - their voices and dances tell the unfolding tale about the monkey-like Vanara who helped Prince Rama fight the evil King Ravana.
Prince Rama, the heir of the Ayodhya Kingdom, and his wife Sita, have been banished by his father, the King Dasarata upon persuasion by Rama's stepmother. The story begins with his brother, Laksamana in the forest of Dandaka. The trio is watched by the demon Rahwana, the King of Alengka, who lusts after the beautiful Sita. Rahwana sends his prime minister, Marica, to play a trick on Sita so that they can kidnap her. Marica has magic powers and he turns himself into a golden deer, and runs around the forest so that he can attract Sita.
ACT I : When Sita sees the golden deer, she is so enchanted by it, that she asks Rama to capture it for her. Rama goes after the deer and instructs Laksamana to stay behind and protect Sita.
Sita hears a cry for help from Rama, and she sends Laksamana after Rama. He is hesitant to go but keeps his promise to protect Sita - he draws a magic circle on the ground and tells Sita not to step outside of this circle under any circumstance.
ACT II : Sita therefore becomes an easy prey to Rahwana. He magically turns himself into an old hungry priest, begging for food. Sita falls into the trap and steps out of the magic circle. This is the moment where Rahwana kidnaps Sita and takes her to his palace. In the palace in Alengka, Rahwana attempts to seduce Sita but without any luck. In the meantime, Hanoman, the white monkey, a good friend of Rama, starts searching everywhere for Sita.
ACT III : At the palace, Sita pours her heart out about cruel Rahwana to this niece Trijata, when suddenly Hanoman appears telling her that he is Rama's messenger by showing her Rama's ring. Sita gives her hairpin to Hanoman and sends him back to Rama to let him know that she is still alive and needs to be rescued. After this meeting, Hanoman cannot contain his fury and demolishes the land of Alengka, tearing up trees and hurling them everywhere.
ACT IV : During this time, Rama and his brother are wandering in the forest looking for Sita when all of a sudden Meganada, Rahwana's son, appears and engages in a battle. He uses his magic power and shoots an arrow that turns into a dragon which over powers the brothers. Thankfully, the bird Garuda, king of all birds, and a good friend of king Dasarata is watching the trouble that Rama is in from the sky and flies down to rescue them.
ACT V : From this point, Rama and his brother continue on their mission to rescue Sita and are joined by Sugriwa, king of the monkeys, and his monkey troop.
The story ends with a battle between Sugriwa and his monkey troop against Meganada and his demon army, in which Meganada gets defeated. Rama rescues Sita and they go back to their kingdom. Symbolically the power of love, loyalty and righteousness has triumphed over wickedness, greed and lust.
Sanghyang is a sacred Balinese dance, based on the idea that a force enters the body of an entranced performer. The force, identified as hyang, is an important spiritual entity in ancient Indonesian mythology. The Sanghyang is a God-inspired trance dance. The purpose of this dance is to protect society against all evil forces and epidemics.
It can be presented in many forms, but here it is presented as the Sanghyang Djaran. Djaran means horse in Java as well as in Bali. The hobbyhorse is associated with the trance and also seen in the Kuda Kepang, a similar function in West Java. The horse rider is brought into a trance by the repetitive sounds of the Gamelan Suara and at this point walks on a bed of burning coconut husks, responding to the sounds.
Sanghyang Dedari and the Sanghyang Jaran is a dance performed by pre-pubescent girls, similar in some ways to the Legong dance. Often the girls are carried on the shoulders of men, and trance is associated with this ritual. Sanghyang jaran is a dance performed by boys who ride coconut palm hobbyhorses (Kuda Lumping) in and around a fire. Trance is also associated with this ritual.
The sanghyang dances are considered sacred ritual dances and are usually performed only in Hindu Balinese religious events.