Photography Travel

Backstage at Uluwatu

Photos by Aloha Lavina

From a sleepy rice farming community, the village of Uluwatu has transformed itself into prosperity thanks to Kecak, a chanting musical featuring familiar characters from the Ramayana. Because it’s such an exciting, beautiful show, I’ve gone three times in as many trips to Bali. For 70,000 Rupiah, you can catch this show daily at Uluwatu, around 1.5 hours from Ubud and half an hour from Denpasar.

Here are some shots from backstage.

Rama puts on her makeup. The dancers begin makeup an hour before performance.
A couple of groups dance at Uluwatu. Each dancer 'works' three days a week and keeps their day jobs, mostly hotel or restaurant related.
Rama, the graceful principal character in the Ramayana, is played by a woman to denote his grace and youthfulness.
Sita is Rama's lady in the Ramayana.
Uluwatu is a temple first, and a dance venue second. Dancers pray and are blessed by a holy man before every performance. Pictured is the woman who plays Lakshamana, Rama's brother.
A lot of joking around goes on backstage. What I enjoy about the Kecak at Uluwatu is the playfulness of the dancers and their enjoyment of what they do.


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