You should be forgiven if you think Mario is just a character from a video game. Long before there were angry birds, Shigeru Miyamoto, a Japanese video game designer had Mario, the Italian-American plumber appeared in the Mushroom Kingdom in over 200 video games trying to prevent turtle-like villain Bowser from kidnapping Princess Peach and taking over the kingdom. The Mario (inset) in question now of course is a famous Balinese dancer. Bali, by the way, is most famous for its performing arts. There are many famous Balinese dances such as the pendet, legong and of course, kecak, the monkey dance performed mainly by men which is said to have originated in the 1930s. Known also as the Ramayana Monkey Chant, the dance is often performed by a circle of 150 or more performers who wear checked cloth around their waists and chant cak cak as they throw up their arms to depict a battle from the Ramayana where the monkey-like Vanara helped Prince Rama fight the evil King Ravana. Not a single musical instrument is used for this dance; music being provided by the cak, cak chant from the performers. German painter and musician Walter Spies, supposedly worked with Wayan Limbak to make the dance world-reknown. Today, Kecak's influence could be seen in such notable songs like I Never Promised You a Rose Garden and Manhattan Transfer's Soldier of Fortune. Grab the opportunity to experience the first hand experience of a kecak dance while in Bali!