Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fire and Trance Dance

This was the best performance that I saw in Ubud. It was called the Kecak Fire and Trance Dance. It's a special dance accompanied by the human voice -- about 50 men sitting around a circle -- chanting. The human voice is the only instrument. Before they begin chanting, a priest dressed in white blesses each row of men.

The performance features many characters from the Ramayana -- including Garuda. One of my favorite characters is Hanoman, the Monkey God, below.The performance concludes with a pile of coconuts set on fire in the center of the circle and one of the characters dances in the fire -- kicking the hot coconuts around the stage -- and occasionally into the feet of members of the audience.After the performance, the fire dancer takes a much-deserved break -- check out his feet.

Door at the Ulun Danu Bratan Temple

The Market at Bedegul

Water Temple

The Ulun Danu Bratan Hindu-Buddhist temple at Bedegul sits on two tiny islands. It was founded in the 17th century and is dedicated to the goddess of water. It was actually chilly on this particular June day -- and as you can see -- overcast.

The Rice Workers

These women near Ubud, Bali are harvesting their rice crop the old fashioned way. Several women use sickles to cut the rice, another bundles it and then the woman on the left beats it over a big basket -- catching the rice. Their work began before sunup. Below is ripened rice.
The photo below is a terraced rice field on the way to Bedegul, Bali.