Kecak and the hundred swaying men

Kecak dancers

Kecak was something completely new to me until hotel staff of Maya Ubud explained it to me. At first I thought it was a local dish but soon discovered Kecak is a Indonesian performance accompanied by music and human voice (gamelan suara). Kecak is a choir of hundred men sitting in concentric circles, swaying, standing up and lying as the story develops. Among the swaying masses the voices of the storytellers can be heard telling the unfolding story.

The story is a fragment from the Ramayana, the Hindu epic which finds its expression in many forms, not only in dance, but also in paintings and carvings. Prince Rama, the heir to the throne of the kingdom of Ayoda, and his wife Sita have been expelled from the kingdom by Dasarata as a result of trickery by Rama’s stepmother. The story begins with the arrival of Rama and Sita accompanied by Rama’s brother Laksama in the forest of Dandaka.

The story continued and slowly evolved into a very hypnotising narrative. Completely lost time and as the Kecak story kept unfolding the persuasive fragrance of the Indonesian buffet dinner suddenly overpowered me and indulged myself in unlimited portions of beef Rendang, crispy pork and a few local drinks. So what exactly happened with the epic performance? Mmm, I can not remember but I am sure the story had a happy ending.

The Kecak story starts


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