Dancehouse

PUTRA PANJI ASMARA - GAMELAN & THE CIREBON MASK: A DANCE CYCLE

BOOK NOW

In the rural areas surrounding the town of Cirebon on the north coast of West Java, Topeng masked dance has long been performed as part of ritual celebrations for weddings, circumcisions, harvests and village blessings. Today, this dance style has become emblematic of the region and single dances are now often presented on stage in urban regions.

Combining live gamelan music, drumming, masked dancing, vivid costumes and verbal banter, this performance will recreate something of the feel of the older tradition, presenting the cycle of five masked dances which present archetypes of human nature ranging from refined to coarse and from playful to serious.

While Topeng is based in Javanese spiritual practice, a performance is grounded in the contemporary world of performance and audience through the antics and social commentary of the clown. In this way our performance will create a bridge between this unique Indonesian performance tradition and the everyday lives of our Australian audience. 

Concept: Putra Panji Asmara and Dr Michael Ewing
Dancers: Ade Suharto, Ning Hall
Musicians: Kris Eira, Martin Fey, Ning Hall, Bianca Gannon, Rowan Gould, Cindy Husein, Erin McMahon, Mitchell Mollison, Helen Pausacker, Ron Reeves, Ash Robertson, Soon Tzu Speechley and Linda Sukamta

 

Date: 22-24 September
Times: 7:30pm
Where: Sylvia Staehli Theatre, Dancehouse
Cost: $25 F | $20 C | $15 DH Members

BOOK NOW

 

BOOK FOR THE EVENING & SAVE!!

22 - 24 September:
Gamelan & The Cirebon Mask: A Dance CycleThe Island
$30 ($15 each)
BOOK NOW

 

Putra Panji Asmara specialises in the music and dance of Topeng Cirebon, the masked dance of Cirebon, West Java, Indonesia. Under the direction of Michael Ewing, we have been practicing and performing since 1999. In 2002, the group was given the name Putra Panji Asmara by Michael's teacher in Cirebon, Almarhum Bapak Sujana Arja, from Desa Slangit. Putra Panji Asmara performs the full masked-dance cycle, and we also present lecture-demonstrations, perform expects from the different dances and play listening music appropriate for a variety of events.

Dr Michael Ewing has more than thirty years experience studying, performing and teaching Indonesian performing arts in Australia, Indonesia and North America. Michael studied the Topeng (masked dance) style of Cirebon, West Java with Sujana Arja, internationally recognised master of the tradition. Since 1999 Michael has been dance and musical director of Putra Panji Asmara, a group which specialises in Topeng performed with live gamelan accompaniment. Michael has made frequent visits to Cirebon, including 1.5 year field study for PhD research. Michael is currently Senior Lecturer in Indonesian studies at the University of Melbourne. He has also lectured at universities in Indonesia and the US.

 

Image credit: Ning Hall by Darren Clements