Ubud 2005

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The Monkey Forest is the home of the Holy Spring Temple.
Cremation ceremonies are held here
Kecak Dance
This dance is perhaps the most stunning of all the Balinese dances and what originally brought me to Bali.   The story is taken from the Hindu epic Ramayana and tells the story of Prince Rama and his rescue of his wife Princess Sinta, who had been kidnapped by the evil King Rahwana.  Prince Rama was able to rescue Princess Sinta with the help of the white monkey armies.   The word Kecak is derived from the "chak-chak" sounds, of the chanting 'monkey' chorus.  Unlike other dances, there is no gamelan orchestral accompaniment, a group of up to 150 bare-chested men make an amazing synchronized chak-chak sound while swaying their bodies and waving their hands

The chorus arrives to represent the monkey armies

The bare-chested men make an amazing synchronized chak-chak sound while swaying their bodies and waving their hands

Princess Sinta waylaid by the evil King Rahwana's henchman


 
At the mercy of Rahwana .  All ends well thanks to Prince Rama and the monkey army

 
Purana,  brother of Rahwana both were exiled to earth for their insubordination

The Sanghyang Jaran dance is performed with the Kecak, by a male dancer who tramples on flaming coals riding a hobby horse made out of palm leaves.  The red hot coals are scattered, and the dancer prances like a horse, snorting and neighing, seemingly unscathed by his ordeal.  The dance is believed to have the power to invite the gods to enter his body and put the dancer into a state of trance.  It dates back to the ancient Pre-Hindu culture, when Balinese people believed a dance could cure sickness and disease.   Usually  performed in the fifth or sixth month of their calendar as the Balinese believe they are more vulnerable to illnesses at that time

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