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Home » Religion, Ritual and Ceremony

No Stage Needed: Art Performances at Bhatara Turun Kabeh Ceremony  

by on Friday, 10 April 2009One Comment | 1,336 views

Topeng Pajegan ro Topeng Panca

The Grand Bhatara Turun Kabeh ceremony at Besakih temple is highlighted with many sacred art performances, and many of them are masked dance-drama performances such as Topeng Pajegan, Topeng Sidakarya, or Topeng Panca. These dance–drama performances are held on inner courtyard of Penataran Agung temple and since this courtyard is used as a venue of many important rituals and praying space, no special stage is build for these dance-drama performances.

Topeng Panca or Topeng Pajegan

But for Balinese and Balinese artists, everywhere the stage is everywhere. For wherever there is a space to dance, to mount a play, there is the Balinese stage. The artists which perform in this grand ceremony can perform on any available space at the inner courtyard of Penataran Agung temple. Sometimes the spot where they perform is only covered with a woven mat or two and the sky serves as roof. The décor maybe the gateway of the temple or the surrounding structures (bale).

Topeng Panca or Topeng Pajegan

The artists give their best performances amidst the limitation in the stage and décor, in fact no Balinese artists which perform on a temple ceremony even bother about the stage or décor since the performance on a temple ceremony is considered by Balinese artists as an expression of their devotion to God. It is the willingness, devotion and voluntary spirit that count above all. No hustle and bustle about stage and décor are let to prevent them from performing in front of the deities.

Topeng Panca or Topeng Pajegan

For Balinese stage is just a place for performing the performance. The actual stage is in the mind of the spectators since no décor can surpass the beauty of human imagination.

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