Friday, November 1, 2013

Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan

Shadow puppets might be more unique, but probably the most famous performance in Yogyakarta is the ballet of the Ramayana held at Prambanan.

It is pretty spectacular, featuring a full orchestra and hundreds of dancers in full costume. During the summer months it is held outside, with the beautifully lit temples of Prambanan as a backdrop, especially appropriate as the temples are decorated with carvings illustrating the Ramayana. I found the setting highly evocative and it really made the show more special.

We brought R even though it is a two-hour performance held after her bedtime, and to my pleasure she was absolutely enthralled. She watched almost the entire show with full attention, and kept insisting that we take pictures of the dancers until the camera ran out of batteries (something she never does otherwise). I think she felt the experience was extraordinary and wanted to capture it in some way. It helped that the hero is a monkey, an animal she has a great affinity for (we always call her "monkey" and lately she's been calling herself one too).
Tickets are expensive for Indonesia but a bargain by Western standards ($8-$30: the highest price includes food and drinks, but is probably not worth it.). Definitely worth seeing!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, great article! I really want to see Ramayana Ballet in action. Do you think that these guys are good? ???