Ramayana Ballet

Travel Guide Asia Indonesia Java Central java Prambanan Ramayana Ballet

edit

Introduction

Ramayana ballet - Fire scene

Ramayana ballet - Fire scene

© theo1006

The Ramayana epic story originated in India, but has spread all over the Hindu world. Although the majority of the Javanese now adheres to Islam, Ramayana is still immensely popular in Java. Painters, sculptors and puppeteers are inspired by it. A ballet version of the Ramayana epos is enacted in Prambanan the year round on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. During the rainy season, November through April, the venue is indoors. But in May through October the spectacle can be appreciated in an outdoor theatre with the floodlighted Prambanan temples in the background.

A visit to the Prambanan temples is not complete without an evening at the ballet. But the summit is the extended, so-called episodic, version, which can be seen only six times a year. It is enacted on four consecutive nights Friday through Monday in the weekends closest to full moon in the dry months only. If one can spend four days exploring Yogyakarta and around, there is no better way to complement the days than with the Episodic Ramayana Ballet at night.

Top

edit

Opening Hours

All performances start at 7:30pm, and last approximately two hours.

Top

edit

Cost

Tickets for the outdoor performances are priced from IDR 50,000 for domestic students to IDR 400,000 for VIP class seats. VIP class and Special class (IDR 300,000) seats face the stage, the cheaper seats view it more or less from a side. VIP class consists of the four front rows and tickets include a cup of coffee or tea and a souvenir. Special class consists of the five rows above and behind VIP class and tickets include a soft drink.
The indoor theatre, named Tri Murti Theatre, is much smaller than the outdoor one and does not have VIP class. Ticket prices range from IDR 125,000 for side view seats to IDR 300,000 for Special class facing the stage.

Seats can be booked without advance payment by phone at +62.274 496 408 and +62.274 497 771 or by email at teater@borobudurpark.co.id. But one must redeem the tickets no less than half an hour before the show starts, otherwise they might be sold.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

From left: Wibisono, Rama, Shinta, Trijata, Leksmana

From left: Wibisono, Rama, Shinta, Trijata, Leksmana

© theo1006

It is worth while to read up on the story so as to better be able to follow the action. At the end of each performance the main characters will line up for a photo opportunity. Be quick, because soon there is a crowd around them.

Synopsis
Follows a synopsis of the episodic version. Some scenes may be omitted in the one-night version.

Episode 1
At the court of Rahwana, king of Alengka, are gathered his brother Kumbokarno, his general Indrajid and his prime minister Prahasta. Enters Rahwana's sister Sarpakenaka. She complains that she has been harassed by a warrior in Dandaka forest, who was accompanied by a beautiful woman. Rahwana's interest in the woman is roused and he leaves with his servant Kalamarica in order to find her. Rama Wijaya, crown prince of the kingdom Ayodya, is in voluntary exile in Dandaka forest, together with his beautiful wife Shinta and his faithful brother Leksmana. Shinta enjoys meeting rabbits and deers. Then appears a more wonderful, golden deer. Shinta asks her husband to catch it for her, and the latter obliges leaving Shinta in the care of his brother, Leksmana. However, the deer really is Kalamarica in disguise, who has been sent by Rahwana. When Shinta and Leksmana are alone they hear a cry for help, and Shinta who thinks her husband is in danger, urges Leksmana to go to his aid. After some hesitation Leksmana leaves, but not before having drawn a magic circle around Shinta to protect her. Shinta now being alone, soon Rahwana himself appears and wants to kidnap her. At first he is baffled by the magic circle. Therefore he disguises himself as an old Brahmana priest, and Shinta intending to give him some alms steps out of the circle. Then Rahmana grabs her and takes her away. Rama and Leksmana return to the spot where they left Shinta. They are at a loss what has happened and Rama reproaches Leksmana. But the abduction of Shinta has been witnessed by the good eagle Janaya, who now attacks Rahwana in an attempt to rescue her. Unfortunately he is overcome by Rahwana and mortally wounded. Rama and Leksmana run into the dying bird and with his last breath Janaya informs them of what has happened. Then the monkey army with their four leaders appear on the scene: Sugriwa (red), Hanuman (white), Hanila (blue) and Jembawan (yellow). Sugriwa begs Rama to aid him recovering his sweetheart Dewi Tara, who has been lured by his - Sugriwa's - elder brother Subali. In the ensuing fight between Sugriwa and Subali, the latter is shot with an arrow by Rama. In return for his aid the monkeys are now ready to assist Rama in his quest to get his wife back.

Episode 2
The monkeys undertake to make contact with Shinta at Rahwana's court and hand her Rama’s ring as a token that she is not forgotten. Hanuman is the bearer of the ring. On their way to Alengka the monkeys are intercepted by the goddess Dewi Sayempraba, who strikes them unconscious. When they come by they find they are blind. While the monkeys are groping around, fortunately the bird king Sempati comes to their aid and succeeds in restoring their sight. In Rahwana's pleasure garden Argasoka the captive Shinta grieves for her husband Rama. Trijata, Rahwana's niece, is on her side and tries to console her. Rahwana appears and tries to persuade Shinta into marrying him. When Shinta refuses, Rahwana threatens to kill her. But Trijata begs for Shinta's life urging Rahwana to be patient. When the two women are again alone in the garden, Hanuman appears and delivers Rama's ring to Shinta. Having done what he was charged to do, Hanuman proceeds to run amok in the garden destroying it. Of course he is then found out and Rahwana’s army attacks him. Hanuman easily stays his ground until he is struck down by an arrow of Indrajid.
Hanuman is taken before Rahwana, who sentences him to be burned alive. But the invincible Hanuman breaks his bonds, takes burning sticks from the pile and sets Rahwana's palace on fire.

Episode 3
Rama Wijaya, crown prince of Ayodya, is now set on invading Alengka. He is supported by the monkey army. However there is a problem: Alengka lies overseas and the sea is not giving in easily. The fishes protest and crabs attack the monkeys. Then Rama shoots his magic arrow at the sea, creating a dry pathway. The fishes still protest the passing of the army, but monkeys push on bringing rocks to wall in the new road. The fishes give in and sit lining the road when the monkey army passes. In Alengka king Rahwana has gathered his council, when Rama's emissary Hanggada arrives with the message: "Release Shinta or it is war". Rahwana is so angry that he threatens to kill the messenger, but his brother Kumbokarno prevents this. This directs Rahwana's fury against Kumbokarno, who is banished from the court. The war is on, Rama’s monkeys and Rahwana’s giants fight. But the outcome will be decided by the main characters duelling. The blue monkey chief Hanila kills Rahwana's prime minister Prahasta. Rahwana's general Indrajid is taken on by Leksmana and succumbs by an arrow of the latter. Hanuman strikes dead Rahwana's sister Sarpakenaka. Kumbokarno, although disagreeing with his brother, has returned to defend his country. He is taken on by the monkeys, but he is too strong for them. Therefore Leksmana once more steps in. At first he tries close attack with his dagger, but then Rama hands him his bow. Thus, Kumbokarno who is Rahwana's brother, is struck down by an arrow from the bow of Rama's brother. The battle is suspended. All mourn the death of the righteous warrior Kumbokarno.

Episode 4
In Argasoka garden Shinta grieves for her husband Rama. Her friend Trijata tries to console her. Again Rahwana appears pressing Shinta to become his wife. But she steadfastly refuses. Then Rahwana resorts to a ruse, he orders two of his giants to bring in the heads of Rama and Leksmana, but the heads are fake. At the sight of these Shinta faints. But Trijata sees through Rahwana's ruse. She shames Rahwana: "If you weren't such a coward you would have brought the real heads." Rahwana swallows the bait and rushes off to the battlefield. There he finds that all his relatives have died and soon he comes face to face with Rama. In the duel that follows Rahwana finally succumbs to Rama's arrow. Rahwana’a army surrenders and Alengka needs a new king. This is Wibisono, Rahwana’s brother who was in exile for opposing him. Leksmana now leads Shinta to meet her husband Rama. However the latter doubts Shinta's purity after her long captivity. This hurts Shinta so much that she wants to prove her purity by stepping into a fire; when she comes out unharmed this will be the proof required. In vain Trijata begs Rama, Wibisono and Shinta to forgo the ordeal. When Shinta steps into the fire, indeed she remains unharmed. Instead the fire god Brama himself appears and protects her. Brama leads Shinta out of the fire and towards Rama. He blesses their reunion.

Top

edit

Getting There

The entrance to the Ramayana theatre is at Jalan Taman Prambanan Kulon, on the west side of the Heritage Park, opposite the park entrance. There is no access to the theatre from the park.

The Ramayana venue is a quarter of an hour’s drive from Yogyakarta airport and up to an hour’s drive from downtown Yogyakarta depending on traffic and the location one departs from.

Top

edit

Eat

The Rama Shinta Garden Resto near the venue serves a buffet dinner prior to a performance. This may save time between visits to the Heritage Park, the Kraton Ratu Boko site and attending the ballet.

  • Kali Opak Resto - An enchanting place to have one's dinner previous to attending a Ramayana ballet performance. Located among bamboo groves on the bank of Opak River, on walking distance from the ballet venue. From the entrance to the theatre head north and look out for the signs.

Top

edit

Sleep

  • Poeri Devata Resort Hotel - The most upmarket Prambanan has to offer. It is conveniently located at a few minutes walk from the ballet venue, therefore a good choice if one does not want to return to Yogya at night after attending a performance.

Budget Hotels

There is a string of budget hotels on Jalan Candi Sewu, the road where one finds the entrance to the UNESCO Site: Candi View, Prambanan Indah etc.

Top

Contributors

as well as theo1006 (2%)

Ramayana Ballet Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Ramayana Ballet

This is version 8. Last edited at 20:26 on Sep 28, 19 by theo1006. 3 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License