The tranquillity and charm of the indonesian island of Bali has been legendary among globe-trotters for hundreds of years.
GV & SV Dancers performing (2 shots)
SV chorus chanting and watching dancer,s then kneeling before them (4 shots)
GV Principal dancers including "Demon King" on stage
GV Demon King and bird-costumed dancers perform on stage
GV Chorus in foreground chanting, then kneeling
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Background: The tranquillity and charm of the indonesian island of Bali has been legendary among globe-trotters for hundreds of years. It used to be a place where visitors could forget the trappings of modernity and relax into a way of life that had not changed for centuries. But inevitably tourism caught up with Bali on a grand scale and today the island is dotted with sophisticated hotels and tourist amenities.
SYNOPSIS: But the rich traditions of Bali have not been completely wiped out in the changeover. Rather they have been adapted to entertain tourists sand among the most colourful are the Ketjak dances. Originally they formed part of a religious ritual during which a young woman was put into a trance to 'hear the wishes of the gods'. But nowadays the Ketjak dancers dramatise stories from the Hindu scripture The Ramayana. Building up to a pitch where the participants achieve a state of ecstasy, various chants are performed by the chorus while the drama unfolds.
Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, and his wife Sita have been exiled from their homeland and after many adventures Rama chases a golden deer and leaves Sita alone without protection. She is kidnapped by Rawana, the King of the Demons, and brought to his palace called Lengapura. With the help of the monkey-god Hanuman, Rama finds his way to Rawana's palace -- after further battles and adventures, plus some help from another friend -- the mythical bird-god Garuda.
Garuda frees Rama by pricking a snake to death and the climax of the dance comes when the chorus divides into a demon army shouting malevolence and a monkey army supporting Rama.
The dance ends as Rama kills Rawana, and is reunited with his wife. Together they return to their homeland. The Ketjak dance ritual is described as the annihilation of the individual and the sublimation of violence. The dancers rehearse for months prior to a performance and as many as 150 people take part.