About kecak dance

In the 1930s Wayan Limbak worked with German painter Walter Spies to create the Kecak from movements and themes in the traditional sanghyang exorcism ritual and the portions of the Ramayana. This collaboration between artists worked to create a dance that was both authentic to Balinese traditions but also palatable to Western tourist's narrow tastes at the time.

"Kecak Dance in the 1930s"

"In the 1930s Wayan Limbak worked with German painter Walter Spies to create the Kecak from movements and themes in the traditional sanghyang exorcism ritual and the portions of the Ramayana. This collaboration between artists worked to create a dance that was both authentic to Balinese traditions but also palatable to Western tourist's narrow tastes at the time.

Wayan Limbak popularized the dance by travelling throughout the world with Balinese performance groups. These travels have helped to make the Kecak famous throughout the world.

Thank's to :
Wayan Limbak  & Walter Spies


Wayan Limbak (1897 - August 31, 2003)

Wayan Limbak, a Balinese dancer who helped create the island's famous monkey dance,
has died in Gianyar on the island of Bali.

Working with the German painter Walter Spies in the 1930's, Mr. Limbak adapted a traditional exorcism ritual to invent the dance known in Indonesian as Kecak.

The dance, which feature
s a chorus of bare-chested men making monkey sounds,
is popular with tourists visiting Bali

Mr. Limbak helped popularize Kecak and shape Bali 's image as an exotic cultural paradise by taking his dance troupe to several international festivals.

Mr. Limbak, who outlived each of his three wives, is survived by 4 children, 22 grandchildren,
17 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.

 

Walter Spies

Walter Spies (September 15, 1895 - January 19, 1942) was a Russian-born German primitivist painter. In 1923 he came to Java, living first in Yogyakarta and then in Ubud, Bali starting in 1927. He is often credited with attracting the attention of Western cultural figures to Balinese culture and art.

In 1937, Walter Spies, the illustrious German artist who settled in Bali 1927 until his untimely death in 1942, built what he described as a "mountain hut" at Iseh in Karangasem. Adored by the Balinese, Spies was the co-founder of the Pita Maha artists cooperative, he shaped the development of Balinese art and established the Westerners Image of Bali that still exists today. After Living for nine Years at the confluence of two rivers in Campuan, Spies grew weary of his increasingly hectic social life, and retired to the tranquil mountain retreat that was to become the setting of some of his most beautiful and atmospheric paintings, including "Iseh im Morgenlicht 1938" Despite his desire to escape from a constant stream of visitors, Spies still used to receive guests at Iseh, including the Austrian novelist, Vicki Baum: musician, Colin McPhee: and Swiss artist, Theo Meier.

In December 1938, Spies was arrested as part of a crackdown on homosexuals. With the influence of people such as Margaret Mead, he was released in September 1939.

As a German national in the Dutch East Indies during World War II, Spies was arrested and deported. However, a Japanese bomb hit the ship that was carrying him to Ceylon, and because the crew were reluctant to evacuate the Germans without a corresponding order, most of the prisoners on the ship, including Spies, drowned.