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Blitar-based troupe perform the Ramayana ballet, East Javanese style

Tarko Sudiarno

The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta  /  Sat, May 27, 2017  /  04:05 pm
Blitar-based troupe perform the Ramayana ballet, East Javanese style

A scene from Ramayana ballet. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

To commemorate National Awakening Day 2017, the provincial government of Blitar, East Java collaborated with PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan and Ratu Boko to hold the colossal Ramayana Ballet featuring the “Hanoman Duta” episode.

Although not held on a full-moon night as per usual, the performance, which was held at the Ramayana Open Air Theater, Prambanan temple, Yogyakarta, managed to wow hundreds of students from various locations around Java. 

The performance, which was held at the Ramayana Open Air Theater, Prambanan temple, Yogyakarta.(JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

The performance featured Blitar-based performers and showed Ramayana in East Javanese style. The gamelan that accompanied the performance as well as the costumes and choreography were different from those used in regular performances at Prambanan temple, which use Yogyakarta and Surakarta styles.  

The gamelan’s karawitan arrangement was infused with East Java’s Ludruk style, and the female dancers were heavily influenced by Ngremo dance. The love scene between Hanoman and the niece of King Rahwana, Trijata, was also captured fluidly with campur sari-style dance movements.

The performance featured Blitar-based performers and showed Ramayana in East Javanese style.(JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

For the finale, the show featured Hanoman’s ogoh-ogoh statue amid fire in the Alengka Kingdom. Hanoman, a warrior on the mission to retrieve Dewi Sinta, transforms into a giant and burns Alengka. 

Hanoman Duta tells the story of the kidnapping of Dewi Sinta by King Rahwana of the Alengka Kingdom. Rama, Dewi Sinta’s husband, meets with Hanoman and sends him to retrieve Dewi Sinta from Alengka. Upon meeting Dewi Sinta, Hanoman is captured by Alengka soldiers. Following his arrest, Hanoman is burned in Alengka’s main square. Instead of perishing, Hanoman shows his superpowers and uses the flames to burn Alengka’s giants.

Hanoman Duta tells the story of the kidnapping of Dewi Sinta by King Rahwana of the Alengka Kingdom. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

The Open Air Ramayana Prambanan Yogyakarta Theater is a modern open-air stage, which boasts the Prambanan temple as a backdrop. It holds regular monthly performances of the Ramayana ballet with the complete episodes. The Ramayana ballet was officiated by President Sukarno in 1961. (asw)

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