- We investigate the spatial dynamics of optical necklace beams in Kerr media. For powers corresponding to less than the critical power for self-focusing per bead, we experimentally confirm the confinement of these necklace beams as proposed in [Phys. Rev. Lett. 81, 4851 (1998)]. At higher powers, we observe a transition from collective necklace behavior to one in which the beads of the necklace collapse independently. We observe that, below the transition power, the perturbed necklace still behaves in a collective manner with coupling between individual beads but that, at higher powers, it undergoes a similar transition to a decoupled state of the necklace.