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Balinese Ritual Drama Black and White Photograph (circa 1920s)

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Black and white photograph print of a Balinese scene from the 1920s. This was most likely a predecessor to Kecak, originally a trance ritual accompanied by male chorus. In the 1930s, Walter Spies, a German painter and musician, became deeply interested in the ritual while living in Bali, Indonesia. He adapted it as a drama, based on the Hindu Ramayana and including dance, intended for performance before Western tourist audiences.

Spies worked with Wayan Limbak, who popularised the dance by arranging for performances by Balinese groups touring internationally. These tours have helped make the kecak internationally known. The photograph is a print in a contemporary frame which has some slight blemishes and scratching.

Dimensions with frame:

L  78 cm

H  29.5 cm

Dimensions without frame:

L  67 cm

H  19 cm