Photographer's Note

The Ramayana is a great Indian epic that is loved all over South East Asia. The story of the Ramayana greatly inspires the Balinese, the Balinese version though differs from the Indian version. Many of the Balinese dances are based on this great story which is often depicted in the form of Legong dance, which is considered to be the most graceful of the Balinese dances.

The full story is very long, and is told only in episodes. The most popular episode tells the story of Prince Rama of Ayodhya (situated in the present state of Uttar Pradesh in North India), his wife Sita, and his brother Lakshman. They are banished from their kingdom and wandering through the forest.

Because Rama and Laksmana are seen as idealized personifications of beauty, they are played by women in a Legong performance. The woman dancers here are playing the role of the two brothers - Prince Rama (on left - facing the camera) and Lakshman (on right). The back of the head seen in the FG is that of a gamelan musician.

We had seen the Ramayana Dance at the Puri Saren Agung in Ubud, also known as the Ubud palace. The troupe presented a few glimpses of Balinese dance and music before going on to the main feature of the day, the Balinese Ramayana. As the Gamelan music began, one could visualise the infinitely varied Balinese landscape. Dance, melody and the accentuated rhythm of gong, drums, and cymbals together formed an indivisible whole. The delicate headgears, the silks on slender waists and simple expressions made the show an exercise in beauty and delicacy.

Focal length = 130 mm
ISO 400

I have to admit that it was not easy to capture the graceful & swift dance motions effectively with my camera, especially due to the longish exposure coupled with long zoom. I rested my camera on the backrest of an empty chair, while taking the shot.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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