Kecak Bedulu (Original Kecak Dance)

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Kecak Dance is one of a famous Balinese dance and music drama that was invented in the 1930s in Bedulu Village, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia. And recently this year (2015), Kecak Bedulu (Original Kecak Dance) is reformed as same as its original form which is danced by approx 200 dancers wearing black and checked cloth around their waists and depicts a battle of Subali and Sugriwa taken from The Ramayana Epic.

Kecak Dance was originally a trance ritual accompanied by male chorus performed annually at Goa Gajah Temple, Bedulu Village. In the 1930s, Walter Spies, a German painter and musician, became deeply interested in the ritual while living in Ubud, Bali. He and  Wayan Limbak - Village leader and a dancer at that time, adapted it as a drama, based on the Hindu Ramayana and including dance, intended for performance before Western tourist audiences.

This is an example of what James Clifford describes as part of the "modern art-culture system" in which, "the West or the central power adopts, transforms, and consumes non-Western or peripheral cultural elements, while making 'art,' which was once embedded in the culture as a whole, into a separate entity." Spies worked with Wayan Limbak who popularized the dance by arranging for performances by Balinese groups touring internationally. These tours have helped make the kecak internationally known.

I Wayan Dibia, a performer, choreographer, and scholar, suggests, by contrast, that the Balinese were already developing this form when Spies arrived on the island. For example, during the 1920s, the well-known dancer Wayan Limbak had incorporated Baris movements into the cak (Kecak Dance) leader role. "Spies liked this innovation," and he suggested that Wayan Limbak "devise a spectacle based on the Ramayana Epic - the Battle of Subali and Sugriwa," accompanied by cak chorus rather than gamelan, as would have been usual.

As young generation of Bedulu Ancient Village have an effort to maintain original Kecak Dance, a group of more than 200 people reformed and re-performed their village's heritage in early 2015. The first performance was held at Gunung Kawi Temple, Tampaksiring as a project of one of National commercial. The next performances will be at Goa Gajah Temple as it's original place, and performed regularly every week for tourists consumption.

Here are some pictures for the first and second performance:

Click each images to see them in biger size!

Tue, 10 Feb 2015 @14:28


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