Ramayana Ballet at Purawisata: A Traveler’s Review
Every now and then during my trips, I tend to splurge a little, whether it’s a massage, a good meal, a good show or a relaxing drink. It’s a little something that I do to pamper myself and you should too if you ever get the chance. Walking for miles each day can take its toll on your body and that’s the least you can do to reward yourself for a job well done. This time in Yogyakarta, my relaxation comes in the form of an indulgent international buffet and an amazing show of dance, light and great acting: The Ramayana Ballet at Purawisata.
The venue for the nightly Ramayana ballet, Purawisata Amphi-Theatre is only 2km away from Malioboro street and can be easily reachable both by feet (20 minutes walk) or by GoJek (IDR3000, 8 minutes). If you feel like taking it slow, take a trishaw. It’s within their range as well but I am not too sure on the charges since I took the bike there.
History of the show
39 years. For over 39 years, the show has been on every single day, without fail.
The amount of dedication and perseverance to continue a show for such a long period is something that anyone can applaud to. One would think that after 39 years, the performer would get tired of repeating the same act every single night but to my own personal surprise, they perform with so much passion and enthusiasm that it seems like they are doing their first performance that night!
Buffer Dinner at the Gazebo
Before the show, guests will be served with a buffet dinner at the beautiful gazebo of Purawisata, with live dancing and singing performance by in house performers. Tunes played from traditional instruments serves as a background music while you indulge in your dinner. International and local cuisines lines the buffet table and you will find delicacies such as Gudeg, Soto and Sambal Goreng among many others.
I personally am a fan of street food but the food at Gazebo was a real treat! Huge variety, professionally done and combined with live performance is what a tired body needs. Make sure you are there early so that you will get the food fresh out from the kitchen. They serve really great tea too by the way. Make sure you try their ginger tea if you are not up for a beer. Easily one of the thickest ginger tea that I tasted during my travel times.
What is the Ramayana Ballet Story?
The Ramayana Ballet story revolves around the love between Rama and Shinta, which was kidnapped by Rahwana. In an effort to save the love of his life, Rama goes the extra mile and a battle started between the two great forces. The story was inscribed on the walls of Prambanan temples as well if you look closely. A guide will be more than happy to point it out to you. Over here of course, they transformed it into a real life performance.
Depicted in the form on dancing without any dialogue, the Ramayana Ballet captivates both the auditory sense of the viewers through beautiful tunes of traditional instruments and also visual sense by amazing dance moves by the performers. One could only imagine the amount of practice they have to endure to put on such a show. Graceful hand movements, precise leg placement, simple head gestures and facial expressions are the main medium of communication in the performance. A wink here and a head nod there tells the whole story better than words are able to.
Perfectly timed music played in the background brings audiences through the up’s and down’s of the performance in an almost euphoric manner. An amazing show of light controls the mood of the performance and enhances the visualization of the characters.
After the show, the guests are invited on stage to get up close and personal with the performers of the day. There are plenty of guests who did not miss the chance to get a picture with their favourite Ramayana Ballet performance, include yours truly, of course.
My personal verdict
Should you do Ramayana Ballet at Purawisata? Definitely! If you have the time and are looking for some entertainment at night, catch the show. I personally recommend it for the knowledge and the experience as well. One might complain about the steep price of the show but considering the fact that food is included alongside the performance and a host of great services, this is something that you can splurge on and be contented with.
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