Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bali: Days 4-5

Day 4:

Today's summary is going to be very abbreviated as I didn't have my camera with me to take pictures.

So, in bullet-point form:
  • rehearsal in the morning
  • lunch
  • music and dance presentation in the afternoon by Cudamani musicians and dancers (phenomenal!)
  • Kecak with musicians!!!  Kecak (ket-chock, though the last "ck" is more a glottal stop than a "ck", the same goes for the "t" at the end of the first syllable), you see, is a type of stylized chanting in which the cakers (that's chock-ers) are split into three or more sections, each with its own rhythm.  When signaled to do so, all of the members begin to yell "cak!" in their own rhythm, creating a very complex pattern that, well, you have to see it to understand what I'm talking about.  It is far more complex and interesting than I have made it sound.
Day 5:

Oh, crap, it looks like today is just as pictureless.

Today the musicians and dancers switched places and I found myself standing in front of the esteemed Pak Cerita making a fool of myself while trying to learn one of the male dance forms, Baris.  To say that it's one of the more simple dance forms does not, in fact, mean that it isn't tiring.  It was like doing slow-motion squats for a continuous 20 minutes!  My legs were like jelly and they ached for days!  Of course, one also has to keep one's shoulders up, chest out, arms up, and somehow through all of this I was supposed to have the face of a warrior.  Mine was more like the face of someone who couldn't breathe and was about to collapse, but that's a minor detail.  I have so much more respect for the dancers now after learning firsthand how difficult and tiring the dances are.  They must have legs of steel!

Ok, so I know this post was a bit lacking, but trust me, the next one is going to be packed with pictures and fun adventures, so check back tomorrow, ok?  It's going to be beautiful (I hope).


  1. You know, a regular yoga practice would help immensely with the leg thing. ;-)

  2. The link was quite interesting and made up for any lack of photos. Not to mention the wonderful mental images of you trying to do that dance.

  3. I think it's wonderful that you got to switch places and see what the dancers have to go through, and I am very proud of you for not falling over while dancing. ;^)


  4. after a while the warriors were exhausted and couldn't breathe too. totally authentic.

  5. I feel for you with the dancing. Squats are not easy...