Monday, January 14, 2013

Ramayana in Ubud

While in Ubud, Bali, we took in a performance of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana.  I had seen the Javanese version at Prambanan with Liz, Meghan and Frances back in April, but the Balinese version was a little bit different (or, at least, it highlighted different portions of the story, as both versions were abridged).  

As usual, the dance performance was accompanied by live gamelan music... lots of crazy fast plinking and plonking on elaborately decorated xylophone and cymbal things (I'm sure there's a better way to describe it, forgive me.):


Some drums:


Here's a brief video of the gamelan in action... like I said, these guys are pretty fast and make quite a haunting racket:


The dancing was pretty cool, too.  I love the intricate details on the costumes:


Beautiful:


The best part is that a large part of the dancing was entirely conducted with the women's eyes and fingers.  Pretty cool... check out the video:


PS: I totally thought that errant leaf on the ground had fallen onto the stage from the trees... I kept waiting for someone to slip on it like a banana peel.  Turns out it was a prop for the dance.  Crisis and/or sprained ankle averted:


There they go with the leaves:
 

Here comes Shinta:


The Rama in this version was considerably beefier/scarier/hairier than the Rama in the Javanese version we saw:


Old man with questionable wig and facial hair:


Jatayu, the demi-god in the form of an eagle:




9 ladies dancing... or maybe one lady and several lady boys, as their make-up had the unfortunate effect of making them look like cross-dressers:

Good stuff.

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