Javanese Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan

Possibly one of the coolest sites in Java is the Prambanan temples. These Hindu temples were built in the 9th or 10th century BC. Before the earthquake in May, it was actually possible to go inside of them. It must be pretty dangerous if the Indonesian government is willing to forfeit admission revenue in the name of safety.

Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan

Instead we decided to see a performance of Javanese dance at the stage. The 154’ temple was actually an impressive backdrop to the performance.

Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan

On the very amusing side is that it took two full days of people saying “balyett” before we realized that they were calling this performance a “ballet.” Seems the subtleties of ‘et’ sounding like é are lost in Bahasa Indonesia.

The costumes were very impressive as well.

Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan

The story was narrated at key points in English. I can’t stress how key the English translation actually is. Try, for example, to decipher what is going on in the following two photos:

Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan

Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan

If you guessed, “By the help of monkey forces, Rama orders to make a bridge on Hinda ocean through Alengka,” then you guessed correctly.

Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan

Here’s one more. What happens when bad guy sets monkey on fire?

Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan

Monkey burns down bad guy’s village.

Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan

That was quite the plot twist. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep the choir awake.

Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan

There was something spectacular about the show, but the dance was disappointing. A little modern influence wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan

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