From 12th to 15th October now ongoing, eight different regional versions are being staged during the Ramayana Festival at the beautiful 9th century Prambanan temple.
The Ramayana Festival, which was opened by Deputy Minister for Education and Culture, Wiendu Nuryanti on Friday evening, 12th October, was participated by 8 provinces namely: Central Java, Yogyakarta, North Sumatra, South Kalimantan, Jakarta, West Java, East Java and Bali, with each performing their own interpretation and choreography of this most beloved epic drama.
“This proves how widely the Ramayana epic has spread in Indonesia , which has been interpreted through different cultural frames”, said Wiendu Nuryanti. “It also shows”, added the Deputy Minister,” that the Ramayana reliefs etched in stone around the graceful Prambanan temple continue to inspire artists to further create new forms of stage performances”, reports Kompas daily.
This Festival is participated by no less than 590 dancers from the 8 provinces. At the close of the Festival on Monday, the Guinness Book of Records will register the Open Air Stage at Prambanan as the longest lasting stage to be continuously used and involving the most number of artists, said Sulistiyo Tirtokusumo, Director for Education and Cultural Development at the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The Prambanan Stage was originally officiated by Indonesia’s first President Soekarno in 1961, and has since then never failed to perform the Ramayana epic during every full moon nights.
Next year, Indonesia plans to organize the International Ramayana Festival, inviting other countries to join, including Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and others.
The collosal performances appear on the large open-air stage at the Prambanan Temple complex, which is located right on the border of Yogyakarta and Central Java. The Ramayana is annually performed here when the full moon shines on the graceful Prambanan temple, becoming an unforgetable surreal romantic background of the Ramayana dance drama.
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