in Yogyakarta we attend a performance of the Ramayana
at the Prambanan Temple. Adapted from the original Indian epic, it now has a
definite Javanese character as it has been adopted for the performing arts.
Since the 1960s, hundreds of dancers have brought the temple to life at
Prambanan's open - air theater, located just west of the temple complex.
Essentially, a traditional dance drama minus the lengthy dialogue, the Ramayana
Ballet or "Sendratari" - an acronym composed of the Indonesian words of art,
drama and dance is presented under a tropical moon with the magnificent floodlit
Roro Jonggrang Temple as a backdrop.
SYNOPSIS OF RAMAYANA BALLET
Prabu Janaka, the King of Mantili Kingdom has a very beautiful princess
named Dewi Shinta. A competition is conducted in order to decide who will be the
right person to marry her. Rama Wijaya, The Prince of Ayodya Kingdom at
last wins the competition.
Prabu Rahwana, the ruler of Alengkadiraja Kingdom is eager to marry Dewi
Widowati. but after knowing Dewi Shinta he changes his mind since he assumes
that Dewi Shinta is the incarnation of Dewi Widowati whom he has been searching for a
Rama Wijaya along with his wife Shinta and accompanied by his younger brother
Leksmana arrive in Dandaka Forest. Unfortunately they meet
Rahwana - who adored Dewi Shinta. Rahwana becomes
eager to possess her, and in order to realize his goal, Rahwana commutes one of
his followers named Marica to a deer called Kijang Kencana so as to attract
Being interested in the beauty of the deer, Shinta asks Rama to capture it for
her. Rama leaves Shinta accompanied by Leksmana and starts
hunting for the deer.
After waiting for a long time, Shinta becomes nervous as Rama has not returned
yet. She asks Leksmana to look for Rama. Before leaving Shinta alone, Leksmana
draws a magic circle on the ground just to protect her from any possible danger. As soon as Rahwana notices that Shinta has been left alone, he tries to kidnap
her but fails because of the magic circle which protects her life. Then he
changes himself to an old Brahmana. Shinta feels pity for the old Brahmana and
leaves the magic circle. As a result Rahwana takes her and flies away to Alengka Kingdom.
Running after the Deer
Rama shoots the deer with the bow and arrow, but the deer converts to a giant. A
battle breaks out between Rama and the giant. The giant is shot to death by
Rama's arrow. Later Leksmana arrives and requests Rama to return to Shinta's
The Kidnap of Shinta
On the way to Alengka, Rahwana meets a garuda bird called Jatayu. They
fight each other since Jatayu knows that Rahwana kidnapped Dewi Shinta - the
princess of Prabu Janaka, his friend. Unfortunately Jatayu was defeated by
Rahwana in his efforts to release her from Rahwana.
Finding out that Shinta is not in her place, Rama and Leksmana
decide to search for her. On the way they meet Jatayu who is
seriously wounded. At first Rama thinks that Jatayu has kidnapped Shinta so
he decides to kill him but Leksmana prevents him from doing so. Jatayu explains
what has happened to Shinta before he dies of his wounds.
A moment later, a white monkey named Hanuman arrives. He is delegated by his
uncle, Sugriwa to look for two heroes who are able to kill Subali. Subali is a
sacred man and has taken Dewi Tara, Sugriwa's beloved woman. At last Rama
decides to help Sugriwa.
Dewi Tara and her son are chatting when suddenly Sugriwa
arrives and attacks Subali. Then Sugriwa helped by Rama defeats Subali. Sugriwa
takes Dewi Tara with him again. For Rama's kindness, Sugriwa decides
to help him in searching for Dewi Shinta. For this purpose Sugriwa delegates
Hanoman to find and investigate the Alengka Kingdom.
|Rahwana's niece, Trijata is comforting Shinta in the garden. Rahwana arrives to
ask Shinta's willingness to be his wife. Shinta refuses and this makes him angry
and he tries to kill her but Trijata prevents this and tells him to be patient. Trijata
promises to look after Shinta. Shinta feels so sad, but suddenly she hears a beautiful song sung by Hanoman, the
white monkey. Hanoman tells her that he is sent by Rama to help her escape.
After he explains his purpose, Hanoman he attempts to find out the total power of the
Alengka army. Then he destroy the garden.
Indrakit. Rahwana's son successfully captures Hanoman but Kumbokarno prevents
him and is thrown out of the kingdom. Hanoman is sentenced to death by burning
but instead Hanoman is able to set himself free and burn the kingdom with the
fire from his body.
As soon as he burns the Kingdom, Hanoman comes to Rama and explains what has
happened. Rama then goes to Alengka along with his monkey's army. He attacks the
Kingdom and places the Alengka's army in a difficult position because
Indrajit - the leader of the army is killed.
Since the army doesn't have a leader Rahwana orders Kumbokarno-the wise giant to
be the leader of the army and fights for the Alengka Kingdom. But then
Kumbokarno is killed by Rama's heirloom arrow. Rahwana takes over the army
and starts to attack Rama and his soldiers. Rama also kills him at last. His
corpse is put under the mountain of Sumawana carried by Hanoman.
Rama Meets Shinta
After the death of Rahwana, Hanoman takes Shinta to meet Rama. But Rama refuses
her because he thinks that she is not pure anymore. Shinta is disappointed
and to prove her faithfulness to her husband she jumps into a fire and burns
herself. Because of her holiness and God's help she is not burnt. That makes Rama happy and
he finally accepts her to be his wife again.
... and there you have it ...
Ramayana Java style.