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 massive, and told only in episodes. The most popular episode tells the story of Prince Rama, his wife Sita, and his brother Laksmana. 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. Legongs are well known for their dramatic eye movements. The dancers always keep their lips closed. The movements of the eyes have a very strong importance, like the movements and positioning of the hands and fingers.

We went to see 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 = 306 mm
ISO 100

Though 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 handheld....hence there is some motion blur. Hope you would like it.

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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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