The Jakarta Post
In a bid to entertain homebound travelers in Surakarta, also known as Solo, in Central Java, the city hosted a Ramayana Opera performance entitled Bakdan Neng Solo (Lebaran in Solo) from June 28 to 30.
Held in Fort Vastenburg, the show involved 200 dancers and musicians from various artistic communities in Surakarta, namely the classical drama group Wayang Orang Sriwedari, the Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI) Surakarta, the Sanggar Tari Suryosumirat dance studio, Sarwi Retno Budaya and Kembang Lawu.
The show presented the Rama Tambak act, which tells the story of the kidnapping of Dewi Shinta by Alengka King. The plot, which followed the traditional Javanese custom, showcased a fighting scene between Rahwana and Jatayu and a scene in which Hanoman frees Dewi Shinta, as per Rama’s request.
Located in an outdoor area, the members of the audience were amused seeing the dynamic deer and monkey movements presented by the dancers. Meanwhile, the lighting and gamelan music, arranged by Dedek Wahyudi, mesmerized the audience, making the two-hour show feel short.
Among all the scenes, the final parts that showed the burning of Hanoman and the revenge of the monkey troops were among the highlights of the show. The hip-hop tunes coming from the gamelan made the audience members burst out laughing.
Surakarta Tourism Agency head Basuki Anggoro Hexa said the event had been held annually for three consecutive years. Next year, the agency plans to add more colors to the Ramayana Opera by exploring culture from other regions, such as Bali. (jes/kes)
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