Balinese Dance-drama


The Indian epic, Ramayana was composed more than two thousand years
ago and was introduced to Bali around the 12th century.  In Bali, some
essential episodes of Ramayana story can be seen in Wayang Kulit
(shadow puppet theater), stone sculptures, wood carvings and paintings.  
The most popular form of Ramayana story is told through dance.

Ramayana is a myth depicting the classic struggle of good versus evil.  It is
a spiritual adventure with animal powers, which surely would nurture and
appeal to both children and adults in the West.  The original Balinese
Ramayana dance-drama lasts almost one and half hours.  Purnama Sari
presents the shorten version especially for American audiences.  It is a
participatory play that gives the audience a rare opportunity to experience
allure of this great Hindu epic and magic of Balinese dance.
Copyright © 2015 Purnama Sari Balinese Performing Arts Company.
All rights reserved.

Rajapala is a lovely Balinese creation myth.  It depicts a
romance between a celestial nymph (Heaven) and a young
hunter (Earth).  Their offspring, Rajapala, is considered the
first Balinese born into this world.  This story illustrates the
Balinese belief of “belonging both to Heaven and Earth.”  The
myth was developed from a Buddhist story that appears in
Jataka Tales.  Similar stories have been recorded throughout
Southeastern and Far-eastern Asia.   

The 14th century epic Javanese poem, Sutasoma relates the life of a
prince, born as an incarnation of Buddha.  It follows his spiritual journey to
enlightenment, kingship and eventual victory over the world-threatening
demon king, Porusada. The theme of this adventurous story is the unity
beyond religious differences. It is the source of the motto of Indonesia,
Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (meaning “Unity in Diversity”). The message is
applicable more than ever in this time of religious conflicts around the
"Purnama Sari performed a folktale dance for our patrons at the Venice Public Library. The audience was delighted by the adventurous and
courageous tale. Colorful costumes, set and music, audience participation and cultural enrichment all added to the wonder and education of
their presentation."
                                                                                                                               Joanne Lize
                                                                                                                               Youth Services Manager
                                                                                                                               Venice Public Library, Florida, USA