Jogjakarta is a province in Java Island that well known of its culture and by the spirit of the art and histories. It’s appropriate that with the ancient Prambanan Temple in the background, you are transported back to a time of demons, heroic animals and epic royal quests. It’s a mythical world illustrated through dance and music that is the setting for a love story centuries old. The Ramayana Ballet is the most famous performance in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta.
Once you enter the gate, you’ll get welcomed by Gamelan music Cokekan. There was one singer along with three people who played the traditional Javanese instruments. It was a great welcome. Not far away from the entrance you’ll find a station that provides a synopsis / the plot of Ramayana full story in a piece of paper. It was available in Indonesian, Spain, English, Germany, Ducth, French, Korean and Japanese.
Ramayana Ballet performance at Purawisata is divided into several acts. The entire story is presented through body movements or dancing, without any dialogues. The melodious strains of Java gending softly sounded to the beautiful dancers gracefully dancing. Occasionally heard, the sinden is humming songs in Javanese. When the scene changed into Rahwana or Hanoman and the monkey army appearances, the sound is turned into more lively gending. The stage becomes more crowded when the war begins and the show becomes more compelling at Anoman Obong’s scene. Having enjoyed the show, you can take pictures with all players on the stage.
The Ramayana ballet dance performance is only held on the open air stage during the dry season. This is usually from May – October. Please find the date schedule below:
- July: 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 30, 31
August: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
September: 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
October: 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31
*Bold highlighted is Episodic shows – the rest is full story.
- Episode 1: The lost of Dewi Shinta
Episode 2: Hanoman the messenger (setting on fire)
Episode 3: The death of Kumbakarna
Episode 4: The holy fire of Dewi Shinta
It’s a graceful and fluid spectacle that juxtaposes the grandeur of the large open air stage with the focused detail of the ballet choreography. The whole performance, with the backdrop of the temple, feels exotic and, at the same time intimate. The costumes, the expressions, and the songs draw you in.
The tale is an old Indian epic which has become popular in Indonesia and is the same portrayed in the Ramayana performance at Bali’s Uluwatu. A young princess is kidnapped by an evil demon and her lover prince, with the help of his brother and a monkey, set out to save her. The narrative climaxes at a pint where the mischievous animal sets fire to the palace of the antagonists.
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