in uluwatu, bali there is a very unique yet more modern than i realized dance called the kecak. this involves a large circle of men who repetetively chant a haunting call that sounds something like 'kak kak kak kak kak kak!' and the dance is meant to recreate a battle in which a benevolant prince faught an evil king while being aided by a monkey-like deity.
the dances are in a noticable trance as their bodies move in harmony with the help of a single man of greatest experience calling off the rhythm. the moves are precise and almost hauntingly organized as the dancers fall deep into their otherworldly trance.
as the dance is resolved the participants stand and surround a sacred flame in veneration to the monkey-like being and often times there is a single female dancer who (i believe) represents a princess who was taken by the evil king.
the expressions on the dancers faces are unbelievable. the men carry an almost impish grin and they call their chanting from the sides of their months revealing our most primitive facial features.
|photo from Baraka.. one of my favorite films|