All About Bali’s Iconic Kecak Dance

If you don’t know much about the traditional Balinese Kecak Dance, you’re certainly in for a treat.

It’s most certainly an artful sight and sound to behold on the dramatic and beautiful island, and it’s something you must simply do during your stay at Mayaloka Villas Seminyak.

What’s that I’m hearing?

If you’re listening to the Kecak Dance rather than watching it, you’ll know exactly what the name is all about. But dozens of people yelling, chanting and singing “Ke-cak ke-cak ke-cak” repeatedly to no musical accompaniment whatsoever doesn’t quite sum it up.

However, you will have definitely arrived at the spine-tingling Kecak Dance, a perfect nod to the rich and traditional Balinese culture.

Actually, it’s more dramatic art than merely dance. But it’s unmistakably Balinese, and one of the best ways to take in the beautiful traditions of the island paradise.

A dramatic sunset performance

The best setting for the Kecak Dance is overlooking the sea from a cliff-top vantage point at sunset. The dance follows the script of the dying light, starting at dusk and concluding under only the light cast by twinkling bamboo torches.

The stage itself is entirely human, made up of dozens of cross-legged people sitting in concentric circles wearing Balinese sarongs.

Some actually refer to it as the ‘monkey dance’, because the “Ke-cak ke-cak ke-cak” chanting represents a spectacular choir of monkeys. Together, they tell a story about a Prince, his wife and brother wandering into the woods, where a giant (Rahwana) kidnaps and imprisons the wife (Shinta).

The Prince (Rama) sets about rescuing her, engaging the assistance of Sugriwa, a Monkey King. Without spoiling the epic plot, the story concludes with an epic and fiery battle between two fearsome sides.

Catch a performance near Mayaloka Villas

The origin of the Kecak dance is Sanghyang, an ancient Balinese ritual that we might recognise as an exorcism to ward off evil spirits. But today, it can be seen all over the fantastic island of Bali as an unforgettable spectacle, including performances held not far from the beautiful Mayaloka Villas in Seminyak.

Not sure how to book a seat at a local Kecak Dance performance? Our friendly staff at Mayaloka Villas will be more than happy to help!