Tari Topeng

topeng.sCirebon, as one of the centers of culture and art in Jawa Barat (greater West Java) had a significant influence on dance, which later inspired dances created and performed in Priangan. That is why this category, based on the style and way it is performed, is divided into Cirebon and Priangan styles.

The term topeng or mask refers to a performance in which certain specific masks are used; not all masked performance can be called topeng. The masks themselves are called kedok or cover. Another meaning of the word topeng comes from the root word, ketap-ketop gepeng, the term for two circular button-sized decorations that hang from the dancer's headdress (sobrah). The wooden masks worn by the dancers are not tied at the head but held between the teeth from the inside. When the dancer sings, the masked is lifted up a little from the face.

Topeng is performed in both court and villages. The location of the performance does not mean there is any difference in the style -- the dance is done by the same artists. Traditional topeng is often performed for religious celebrations such as circumcisions and weddings. However, there are other important traditional ceremonial rituals that are getting rare where topeng is also used.

For individual celebrations, the dance is usually performed in the courtyard of a private house, while for communal celebrations the performance is held in the village center, village court, or cemetery. The different settings, audiences, and environment will automatically create different programs of entertainment, since there is an intimate relationship between performers and the context of the performance. Thus, in topeng, no two performances are identical. Each performance is different because each is created for an individual purpose and context.