Wayang Orang, Javanese Culture of Indonesia

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Culture

Wayang orang, also known as wayang wong orang (literally “human wayang”), is a type of classical Javanese dance theatrical performance with themes taken from episodes of the Ramayana or Mahabharata. Performances are stylized, reflecting Javanese court culture

Wayang wong dance drama in the central Javanese Kraton (royal court) of Yogyakarta represents the epitome of Javanese aesthetic unity. It is total theatre involving dance, drama, music, visual arts, language, and literature. A highly cultured sense of formality permeates every aspect of its presentation.

Despite being closely associated with the Javanese tradition, variants of wayang wong dance drama can also be found in neighboring ethnic traditions, including in Balinese and Sundanese traditions.

Wayang wong is closely associated with Javanese culture. Originally, it was performed only as an aristocratic entertainment in four palaces of Yogyakarta, Pakualaman, Surakarta, and Mangkunegaran. In the course of time, it spread to become a popular and folk form as well. Javanese wayang wong performances are regularly staged in Trimurti Ramayana open-air stage in the Prambanan temple compound as Ramayana Ballet, Purawisata cultural hall in Yogyakarta, Sriwedari park in Solo, and also Ngesti Pandawa in Semarang.

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