Bali – Kecak Dance Uluwatu Temple

Planning for a family trip with people of diverse interests has never been an easy job. I would love to visit all the temples and watch every dance performance in Bali as each of them presents an unique opportunity for photography enthusiasts like me. However, I am sure I would be faced with a group of grouchy and sulky mates if I had really planned the itinerary my way. 😦

So if I had to choose only one dance performance for the entire trip, I think the Kecak dance at Uluwatu Temple should be it. This dance is a combination of ancient ritual, dance, drama and even has a sense of humour in it. These, plus the backdrop of a setting sun over a cliff, makes this performance one of the  most spectacular ones. 

There are 5 acts in the drama where it started with how Sita (wife of Prince Rama) was captured by another king, Rhawana, and the entire rescue process. Like I said earlier, there is also humour injected into the show as there was a scene where the Monkey King made fun of the audience. It doesn’t really matter where are you seated, in case you think that the upper few rows are “safer”, as the Monkey King  will randomly pick his “victim”. 🙂

It’s full house every day, as I was told

As you can see, the theatre is quite small

The almighty Thor was not in a good mood that day and he sent rain crushing onto us shortly after the show had started. Although the performers were very professional and continued with the performance, the audience were not prepared to brave the rain. We didn’t finish the show, FYI. Sigh.

Grand entrance by the performers

No musical instruments were used in the performance. These forty-odd men just chanted “chak chak chak” throughout the entire performance

Prince Rama and his wife Sita entering the enchanted forest of Dandaka

Prince Rama and his wife Sita

Movement and facial expression are 2 very important aspects of Bali dance

Sita captured by the demon King Rahwana

Key characteristics of Bali dance – bend knees and back, keeps shoulders wide open.

The Monkey King Hanoman

The Monkey King Hanoman making fun of the audience

 

This was the final act we saw before we had to disperse due to the rain

Useful Information – Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple :  Admission Charges, Rules and Advices:

  • Adult 70,000 IDR
  • Child 35,000 IDR

Performance Hours:

  • Kecak Dance at 1800 hrs daily

Rules and Advices:

  • It’s free seating and do go earlier (20 minutes should suffice) if you want the central view
  • I didn’t see any restrictions on the usage of cameras. In fact, my DSLR should be quite prominent and I didn’t get any warning. So I guess it’s perfectly alright to use camera during the dance.
  • Sarongs are required to enter the sacred area
  • Women who are having their period can only go until the steps of the temple
  • Loose items such as glasses, sunglasses, handbags, etc should be handled with care. Leave them in the car if possible. Monkeys snatching these items from the visitors is a common sight. I witnessed a tourist’s pair of glasses being taken away from a monkey. See my previous post for evidence. *** You have been warned ***
  • A lot of vendors will be selling you food like bananas and peanuts to feed the monkeys. You DO NOT HAVE to buy from them. In fact, these items are “monkey-magnets”.

Estimated traveling time by car:

  • Pandawan Beach  Uluwatu Temple: 30 minutes

 

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