Kim and I decided to go and see the Kecak Fire and Trance Dance tonight at the local temple – we weren’t quite sure what to expect, but it turned out to be a really entertaining show.
Part of the ancient Hindu epic story of Ramayana was performed, using fabulous costumes, beautiful dancing girls and the voices of 100 men who sing, chant, clap, sway and cheer as the story unfolds. The story involves a prince, an evil demon, a monkey king and of course a beautiful woman.
After the conclusion of the Ramayana story, the trance dance is performed. According to their brochure the Sanghyang is a “god-inspired Trance Dance which is meant to protect society against evil forces and epidemics. In this version the ‘horse rider’ is lulled into trance by the repetitive sounds of the gamelan and in his tranced state he walks on a bed of burning coconut husks”.
With front row seats we certainly felt the heat from the flames. Not sure how he managed to walk around in those burning embers but he was smiling afterwards and posing for photos with his blackened feet.
The performance is given twice a week by the local desa (village) which is made up of around 140 families and almost all adult members of the Desa are involved in the production.
Recommendation: A great way to spend an evening