Nani Topeng Losari Cirebon Mask Dance
14 11 '17 - 20:30
16 11 '17 - 20:00
18 11 '17 - 20:00
21 11 '17 - 20:00 & 22 11 '17 - 19:00
24 11 '17 - 20:00
The topeng (“mask”) dance tradition dates from the 15th century and originated in Cirebon, a coastal city of Java. Accompanied by a gamelan and wearing opulent masks and colourful costumes, dancers perform ancient stories of kings, princesses and legendary adversaries.
Performed for harvest festivals, circumcisions and other traditional festivities, the topeng Cirebon protects the village from negative supernatural forces. The masks themselves have great magical powers, which are transmitted to the dancers who wear them. Antique masks are the most prized, as their power increases over time. In the first part of the performance, the dancer does not wear a mask. Suddenly, he puts the mask on his face. Magic fills the dancer and he becomes an incarnation of the character, be it a king, a flirtatious princess or a clown.
The mask dance has many regional variations - in subject matter, style of masks and number of dancers. The Losari style is one of the best known and demands great agility and technical stamina. Currently under threat, this dance tradition is fortunate to have a champion - the dancer Nur Anani M Irman, better known as Nani. Her dance studio contains 80 masks, over 200 years old, and she performs around Indonesia and across the world in her attempt to save this tradition from oblivion.
Double bill with Medium by Rianto (except at deSingel)