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TOPENG IRENG – Powerful, Catchy

(All the photos were taken during Topeng Ireng performance at Tlatah Bocah – Festival Anak Merapi 2012 at Nglinggo, Samigaluh, Kulon Progo, Indonesia; 24 June 2012)

Nama Topeng Ireng berasal dari kata “Toto Lempeng Irama Kenceng” (tatanan lurus, irama kencang); para penari Topeng Ireng menari dalam barisan lurus diiringi musik berirama keras.

Tari Topeng Ireng adalah pertunjukan seni tradisional yang memadukan syiar agama Islam dan ilmu beladiri atau pencak silat. Karenanya, iringan musik yang digunakan dalam tari Topeng Ireng adalah musik bersyair Islami.

Tari Topeng Ireng menggambarkan kehidupan masyarakat pedesaan yang tinggal di lereng Gunung Merapi dan Merbabu. Gerakannya yang tegas melambangkan kekuatan masyarakat desa Merapi – Merbabu dalam bertahan hidup.

Sebelum dikenal dengan nama Topeng Ireng, seni pertunjukan ini dikenal dengan nama “dayakan” karena bagian bawah kostum yang dikenakan para penarinya menyerupai pakaian adat suku Dayak.

Kesenian Topeng Ireng mulai berkembang di tengah masyarakat lereng Merapi – Merbabu sejak zamanpenjajahan Belanda dan mulai menyebar luas pada tahun 1960-an. Pada masa itu, pemerintah Belanda melarang warga berlatih beladiri/pencak silat, sehingga warga akhirnya “menyamarkan” gerakan beladiri menjadi tarian rakyat.

Daya tarik utama kesenian Topeng Ireng terletak pada kostum para penarinya yang dihiasi bulu warna-warni seperti mahkota kepala suku Indian, dengan pakaian berumbai dan berwarna mencolok. Selain itu, “kelintingan” (lonceng kecil) yang dipasang pada sepatu para penarinya juga menimbulkan suara gemerincing yang menarik telinga.

The name Topeng Ireng (literally translated as Black Mask) originated from the words “Toto Lempeng Irama Kenceng” (straight line, hard rhythm); the topeng Ireng dancers move in straight line(s) accompanied by hard rhytmic music.

Topeng Ireng is a traditional performance art which combines Islamic teaching and “pencak silat” (traditional martial art). Hence, the music used to accompany the dance contains Islamic lyrics.

Topeng Ireng describes the life of villagers living around the slopes of Mount Merapi and Merbabu. The firm movement represents the villagers’ power in struggling for life.

Formerly, the dance was known under the name “dayakan” as the lower costumes are similar tho those worn by Dayak tribesmen.

Topeng Ireng has grown among the societies living around Mount Merapi – Merbabu since theera of Dutch colonialization and had spreaded widely since the 1960s. Back then, the Dutch authority banned any kinds of martial arts, hence the villagers “disguised” the martial art into a form of folk dance.

The main attraction of Topeng Ireng performance may be its costumes—the dancers wear headcovers decorated with colorful feathers such as ones worn by Indian tribesmen, as well as frilled clothings in bright colors. Also, they wear “kelintingan” (small bells) sewn onto their boots, which produce ear-catching sounds when they move during the performance.

One response

  1. siippp.!!!
    keren bgt foto2nya.????

    July 2, 2012 at 1:42 am

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