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CENTRAL JAVA > RAMAYANA BALLET > Episode 1: Abduction of Shinta
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Here is the excerpt of Episode 1: The Abduction of Shinta


Rama, in his voluntary exile on earth, wanders in the forest with his beautiful wife, Shinta. He is escorted by his faithful brother, Leksmana. While they are comforting each other in their misery, a golden deer, which is a manifest of Rahwana's envoy called Marica, is ordered to tempt Shinta.

Shinta is spellbound by this golden deer and begs Rama to catch it. Rama tells Leksmana to guard her while he goes for the catch. He tells Leksmana not to leave Shinta under any circumstances. While waiting, they hear Rama screaming for help, when the fact it is Marica imitating Rama's voice in order to draw away Shinta's attention. Shinta, worrying about Rama's safety, urges Leksmana to rescue her husband. Leksmana refuses and Shinta accuses him of ill-disposed intention toward his own brother. Leksmana unwillingly leaves Shinta to look for Rama. Suddenly, Rahwana shows up before Shinta and persuades her to become his wife. As she will not budge, Rahwana carries her away by force. Along the way, helpless Shinta drops her ornaments one by one with hope that Rama will be able to trace her whereabout.

Jatayu, the giant eagle and a loyal friend of Rama's father, soars through the air and sees what happens to Shinta. He hurriedly tries to rescue her. In the battle against Rahwana, Jatayu wounds himself and drops to the ground. He is found dying by Rama and Leksmana. Before his death, he manages to tell the story to both of them.

With the renewed hope, they hurry on and meet an army of apes led by Sugriwa, the ape prince. There are also the white ape warrior, Hanuman; the blue ape, Hanila; and the venerable ape, Jembawan. Sugriwa tells Rama about his brother, Subali, who had wronged him and requests Rama to help him. In return, Sugriwa will help Rama in his quest to rescue Shinta. In the battle between Sugriwa and Subali, Rama shoots his magic arrow at the latter. Subali does not survive and eventually dies.

Generally, the ballet acts are rather hard to follow unless you read the synopsis beforehand. Bear in mind that there will be no dialogue throughout the performance so you have to rely on the acting movements and the electronic screen to get a gist of what going on.

If you are interested to read about the rest of the episodes, you can find the synopsis below:

Episode 2: Hanuman Duta (Setting on Fire) - The Adventure of the Ape Envoy
Episode 3: Kumbakarna Leno (The Death of Kumbokarno)
Episode 4: The Holy Fire - Downfall and Purification

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