Watching Sendratari Ramayana Prambanan, Epic Story in a Spectacular Show – Shinta is kidnapped by Rahwana, a giant king from Alengka kingdom who has nasty face and attitude. He intends to marry the beautiful Sri Rama’s wife and make her to be his queen. In the other side, Rama and his sharp-looking younger brother, Lesmana are looking for aid to find her wife. Fortunately, Hanoman, a white monkey commander and his monkey army would like to help him, attack Alengka, burn it in a very smoldering fire and seize back Shinta.
The paragraph above is a piece of story of Ramayana. It is a popular Hindu epic story which was written by Walmiki in the 11 century. The story has been preserved and became a part of culture in many countries which had influenced by Hindu religion outspread centuries ago, such as Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Philippines and Indonesia.
In Indonesia, the story of Ramayana reflects in many traditional art performing and become tourism attraction. One of them is staged in a spectacular show called Sendratari Ramayana Prambanan or Ramayana Ballet Prambanan. It is performed both indoor and open stage in different schedule in the west of Prambanan Temple area in Yogyakarta city. The performance of Sendratari Ramayana Prambanan is run in the evening, start from 7.30 PM.
Open air stage performance has Prambanan temple as its background and if you watch the show when the full moon comes, you are just so lucky because you can feel the splendid night atmosphere.
The Sendratari Ramayana Prambanan show brings dozens of dancer who perform story of Ramayana in traditional Javanese dance without dialog. It is a spectacular dance show which integrates the art of Javanese traditional dancing, theater, music and marvelous artistic stage and lighting.
The story in Sendratari Ramayana Prambanan is presented in four chapters with duration 2 hours in length. First, the story is about kidnapping of Shinta by Rahwana, the giant king of Alengka kingdom. Second, the white monkey commander, Hanoman burns Alengka in order to get back Shinta. Third, the death of Rahwana and his brother, Kumbakarna. Fourth and the last, reuniting of Rama and Shinta as husband and wife.
The climax of the show is when Hanoman burns the kingdom of Alengka. It is presented with Hanoman who dances and plays a stick of fire, then he burns the stage with tremendous fire. Minutes later, monkey army dancer perform fire dance magnificently.
As a Javanese native of Indonesia, I was so excited watching this show few months ago. I was mesmerized with the traditional costume, dance, the sound of traditional gamelan music, the artistic stage and lighting.
If you travel to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, it is worth to spend your budget to enjoy this show. The show is usually hold from May to October (open air show) and November to April (indoor show) each year. There are several seat classes you can choose, from VIP seat to second class seat. The prices are range from 125.000 IDR to 400.000 IDR. There is a difference ticket price between foreign and local tourist. You can go there and buy the ticket instantly in the locket. But, if you go there in holiday season, make sure you get your seat by call the reservation number first.
After enjoying the Sendratari Ramayana Prambanan, you can consider to have the other story of Ramayana spectacular show. I will recommend you to watch Kecak Fire Dance in Uluwatu Temple, Bali. I was there to see the performance last year. It was great and I will write it next time.