We watched two performances, both of the same love story, while in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. First off, we had to see the shadow puppet performance, after visiting a puppet maker. We stayed and watched the whole puppet show, but we were already really tired to start with, and the fact that we couldn’t understand any of the dialogue, all in a local dialect of Bahasa Indonesia, made it a loooong show! The accompanying orchestra is great, but some sort of translation would make the show much more enjoyable. The two hours that we watched was one scene from the love story. The person who helped us when we arrived suggested we watch the first 20 minutes of the show from the back, behind the screen, to see the orchestra. Then we could move to the front, looking at the shadows created by the puppets on the screen, the way it is meant to be viewed.
The following evening we watched the out-door performance of the Ramayana Ballet in Yogyakarta. It was the same love story with Rama and Sinta, but much more engaging! The costumes were gorgeous and the dancing very energetic.
We were allowed to take photos with the dancers after the show, for no extra charge! We highly recommend the Ramayana Ballet (performed nightly) if you visit Yogyakarta. It is also performed in the evenings at the Prambanan Temple (only certain times of year), outside of town, but check ahead of time to be certain of show times.
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