The first time I watched the Ramayana Ballet show was back in 2009. Though I can’t really recall all the details of that night’s performance, I can still remember that the show was really great. Two things that I can’t forget, besides the companion, were the magical set of the stage, which has Prambanan temple as the background and the scene where Hanoman was lit the fire at the Alengka Palace. It was fascinating.
Recently I’ve been wanting to watch the Ramayana Ballet again. A few days ago I decided to play tourist in my own city and go to a Ramayana Ballet performance by myself. I knew it was going to be a magical night and I was excited. You can actually reach Prambanan easily by yourself with the trans Jogja bus, but since the Ramayana Ballet show starts at 7:30 pm and finishes around 9:30 pm, it’s easier to take a private car or shared transport (plus I don’t know if you can still find the bus at the end of the show). You can find out more about the tour below.
As I explored the venue I saw several of the actors in costume standing before the entrance gate. You can take a picture with them, although I didn’t. When I visited I saw Rama, Shinta and Hanoman the white monkey. Once you enter the gate, you’ll get welcomed by Gamelan music Cokekan. There was one singer along with three people who played the traditional Javanese instruments. It was a great welcome.
Not far away from the entrance you’ll find a station that provide a synopsis / the plot of Ramayana full story in a piece of paper. It was available in Indonesian, Spain, English, Germany, Ducth, French, Korean and Japanese.
Amazingly the show started on time. Around 7:28 pm the music started playing and the master of ceremonies greeted the audience. Once the show started, I can say that all the audience was stunned by the performance. Everyone was very quiet, while they enjoyed the love story of Rama and Shinta. Yes, I won’t say much about the show because you really need to experience it for yourself.
This was the second time I saw the Ramayana Ballet show and I still loved it! On this occasion, I watched the condensed performance. However, I want to watch the episodic show sometime in the future. People say that for the episodic show there are more dancers and the plot is more detailed.
I’ve never watched the indoor performance before, but I have watched the outdoor. Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect when you watch the ballet for yourself (it’s not very long. I didn’t want to spoil the story for you).
The Ramayana Ballet is also performed at Purawisata Jogjakarta (Jl. Brigjen Katamso, Yogyakarta 55152) every night. Purawisata is around 15-20 minutes away from Malioboro Yogyakarta. I haven’t watched the Ramayana ballet in Purawisata so I couldn’t give you a proper comparison. I’m just a lover of a show on an open air stage with Prambanan temple as the backdrop.