Everyone who visits Bali should experience watching the famous Kecak dance. It is a Balinese dance which also a music drama depicting the story of Ramayana. The signature of the dance itself, is the performers who percussively chants “cak” and moves their hands and arms.
There are a few places to catch the performance. One of the best places is Pura Uluwatu or Uluwatu Temple. The temple is situated at Bali’s southwest end, perched at the edge of a steep cliff, overlooking the crashing waves 70 meters below. The best way to get here is to arrange a transport in advanced with your hotel or any agents. As Pura Uluwatu is one of the 9 main sacred places in the island, visitors are required to wear a sarong or a sash if the clothes are too short or too revealing. Both sash and the sarong are provided at the entrance.
You’ll get to see monkeys roaming around. But they ain’t nice buddies, instead keep your eyeglasses, jewelry and other valuables in your bag or pocket. If you got unlucky, these little buddies will snatch them from you. So stay be careful.
The performance takes about 1 hour and is performed before the sunset. The storyline of Ramayana is about Prince Rama, who with the help of the monkey-like Vanara defeats the evil King Ravana to rescue his Princess Sita. The dance is not accompanied by any musical instruments but it uses voices of the dancers.
When I watched the dance, there was an accident happened. The monkey-like Vanara performer accidentally kicked the fire-lit bush to the wrong direction, to the audience. It almost caused a big and serious accident to happen. Fortunately the dancer were quick enough to kill the fire and no one was hurt. Therefore, if you think that the best seats are those in the first few rows, I would say the opposite. The performance involves a giant fire display that is integral to the plot. It might get dangerous.
I had watched the Ramayana-story based traditional dance in Yogyakarta before. But both dances are both different in the ambience. The performance at Uluwatu was more phenomenal with the sunset and the temple scenery as the background.
Temple Entrance Fee : Locals: Rp 15,000 and Foreigners: Rp 20,000
Kecak Performance Ticket Fee: Rp 100,000 (Note that during high season, tickets are often sold out and should be booked a few days in advance)
Time for the Kecak Performance : 6:00 PM daily