The mythical world of music and dance

ramayana ballet, yogyakarta, indonesia, prambanan temple

The mythical world of music and dance

  |   7 Comments

This is the website of travel writer, Michael Turtle. After working in broadcast journalism for a decade in Australia, Michael left Sydney to travel the world indefinitely and write about his discoveries.

Ramayana Ballet, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

It’s appropriate that with the ancient Prambanan Temple in the background, you are transported back to a time of demons, heroic animals and epic royal quests. It’s a mythical world illustrated through dance and music that is the setting for a love story centuries old.

The Ramayana Ballet is the most famous performance in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta. It was only while I was going through some photos of my trip there late last year that I realised I hadn’t shared any photos of the incredible show.

ramayana ballet, yogyakarta, indonesia, prambanan temple

It’s a graceful and fluid spectacle that juxtaposes the grandeur of the large open air stage with the focused detail of the ballet choreography. The whole performance, with the backdrop of the temple, feels exotic and, at the same time intimate. The costumes, the expressions, and the songs draw you in.

The tale is an old Indian epic which has become popular in Indonesia and is the same portrayed in the Ramayana performance at Bali’s Uluwatu. A young princess is kidnapped by an evil demon and her lover prince, with the help of his brother and a monkey, set out to save her. The narrative climaxes at a pint where the mischievous animal sets fire to the palace of the antagonists.

Photos have trouble capturing the movements and animate beauty of the show but hopefully this collection gives you a sense of how it feels to be in the theatre with the hundreds of other spectators.

ramayana ballet, yogyakarta, indonesia, prambanan temple

ramayana ballet, yogyakarta, indonesia, prambanan temple

ramayana ballet, yogyakarta, indonesia, prambanan temple

ramayana ballet, yogyakarta, indonesia, prambanan temple

ramayana ballet, yogyakarta, indonesia, prambanan temple

ramayana ballet, yogyakarta, indonesia, prambanan temple

ramayana ballet, yogyakarta, indonesia, prambanan temple

ramayana ballet, yogyakarta, indonesia, prambanan temple

ramayana ballet, yogyakarta, indonesia, prambanan temple

Time Travel Turtle was a guest of the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.

UNESCO world heritage siteThis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For more info click here.
You can see all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites I’ve visited here.

Want occasional updates?

Sign up to be the first to hear the latest about the adventures of Time Travel Turtle.

7 Comments
  • Jennifer | Mar 30, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Incredible. I would love to see a dance theater like this. The movements must be incredibly beautiful.
    Jennifer recently posted..Top 10 Things to Do in BudapestMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 16, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      It was quite an incredible performance. So many little details but on such a large scale!

  • Aristya | Mar 31, 2013 at 12:18 am

    This called wonderful Indonesia. So proud to be Indonesian :)

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 16, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      You have every reason to be proud of your country, Aristya! It’s a beautiful place with so many wonderful things to discover and explore!

  • Muhammad Irfan Fauzi | Jun 29, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Nice, I’m on the photo, right behind the dancer (as the Gamelan music player). Thanks for publish this incredible performance, and most of the Dancer and MuSic Player are university student. :D

  • Timothy W Pawiro | Jan 30, 2014 at 5:58 am

    I did watch this ramayana ballet, but indoor.

    Now I think I should watch the open-air version of it.
    It’s so majestic with Prambanan temple as the background! Love it :-)

    • Michael Turtle | Feb 10, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      The background definitely makes it look pretty special. But I have seen a few versions of it now and it’s always a good story and well-performed.

Post A Comment

CommentLuv badge