Tuesday 31st March 2009
i had the greatest of luck to see tarian topeng (mask dance) while at the temple recently in Tunjuk, Tabanan. the expressions on the masks are quite mesmerising, especially those eyes that appear to see right through you.
some of the masks in these dances are full face, where the body is purely used to express oneself in the dance in the one pictured above, you can see how the dancer started with a mask where the face is younger and thus his movements were freer, and then changed into a mask where the face is aged and his movements became slow and laboured. other masks are half-face, and these allow the characters to speak and poke fun at each other...they are highly entertaining and later on in the evening at the temple when this took place it was particularly enjoyable, as one of the characters came out with a bowler hat and blond wig and spoke in English - a first for me at a mask dance performance where there were no tourists.