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Indonesian Explorer A friend told me when I did traveling with him and challenging to jump over the huge rock to the river, "Hey Arum, you never know you'll come to here again or not. So, NOW or NEVER?" Then this is the best I remember when I want to do new things.

Ramayana Ballet Dance: The Timeless Sacred Love

INDONESIA | Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | Views [2038]

Prambanan Temple in the night

We arrived at the next destination, towards evening. There was a traditional dance performances, Ramayana Ballet Dance, a story about two lovers, Rama and Shinta, who were destined to be together. Before the show began, we toured around. Another masterpiece in Magelang were always alluring to be visited by domestic and foreign tourists. We enjoyed it from a distance because of the limited time to visit. Well, it was the beauty of Prambanan temple. Beautiful golden luster glowed around the temple were teasing our eyes to always see its beauty.

The scene when Rama fight with Rahwana

We were impressed with the beauty of Ramayana Ballet Dance, detailed visualization of Javanese culture legend. Quoting the synopsis from Yogyes(dot)com, Ramayana story presented in this performance was similar to that engraving on Prambanan temple. Ramayana story engraved on the most beautiful Hindu temple was similar to the story in oral tradition in India. The plot which was long and thrilling was summarized in four plays, Shinta abduction, Anoman mission to Alengka, Rahwana or Kumbhakarna death, and reunion of Rama and Shinta.

The whole story was presented in a series of dance movements performed by beautiful dancers and accompanied by gamelan music. We were invited going to the deep of the story and observing each movement of the dancers to know the story. There was no spoken dialogue from the dancers, the only speakers were some Sinden (tradional singer in Java) which portrays the story through the songs in the Java language with a distinctive voice. This show was perfect because not only dance and music were prepared, but also the lighting which was not only a mute light, but was able to describe certain events in the story. Similarly makeup on each dancer, it was able to describe the character and the audience we we could be easily recognizing even though there was no dialogue.

When Prabu Janaka held a contest

The story began when Prabu Janaka held a contest to determine the companion to Dewi Shinta (his daughter) who eventually be won by Rama Wijaya. It was continued with the trip of Rama, Shinta and Rama's younger brother named Lakshmana in the Dandaka Forest. In the forest, they met Rahwana who wanted to kidnap Shinta because she was considered as an incarnation of Dewi Widowati, a woman who had been sought by him.

The scene when Rahwana planning to kidnap Shinta

To attract the attention of Shinta, Rahwana was changing his followers named Marica into a golden deer. The effort was successful because Shinta was attracted and asked Rama to chase the golden deer. Rama went after the deer. Then, Laksama was looking for Rama who had not get back after a long time while Shinta abandoned and given a magic circle of protection so that Rahwana could not kidnapped. That protection failed after Rahwana successfully transformed himself into Druna, an old beggar.

Last scene when Rama and Shinta can be together after all happened

At the end of the story, Shinta was helped by Hanoman, the monkey as a figure of nimble and powerful. But when brought back, Rama did not trust Shinta anymore. He considered she had been tarnished. To prove the sanctity of herself, Shinta asked to burn her body. Shinta proved her chastity because her body did not burn at all but she also became more beautiful. Rama finally took her back as his wife.

The scene when Hanoman burned the city

One figure that I like because of his courage to rescue Shinta so he could be reunited with Rama. He is Hanoman. He was caught by a herd of Rahwana. When Rahwana judged the death penalty to Hanoman , Rahwana's younger brother, Wibisana, defended Hanoman so that his sentence was commuted, remembering Hanoman was a messenger. Then Rahwana’s command that Hanoman's tail was burned. Looking at it, Shinta prayed that the fire that burned Hanoman's tail changed into cool. Her prayer was answered. Then Hanoman rebelled and destroyed Brahma Astra that bind her. With tails blazing like a torch, he set fire to the Alengka city. In short moment, Alengka city had became a sea of fire. After he made chaos to the city, he plunged into the sea so the fire on its tail went out.

Figure of Hanoman

The heavenly hosts were praising Hanoman’s courage. By bringing the good news, Hanoman came to Rama and told all condition about Shinta. After that, Rama prepared the force to destroy Alengka city. Shinta finally was able to return to Rama, as well as the destruction of Alengka.

Stories inspiring to maintain, sustain, and fight for love despite the obstacles that it is definitely preventing. Keep believing that a miracle will always be there and the timeless sacred love.


Tags: dance, indonesia, traditional, yogyakarta

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