Topeng Klana

KlanaThe Topeng Klana dance is also known as the Rahwana or Menak Jingga dance because it describes the personalities of all three of these characters and each of their stories has the same theme. Klana, Rahwana, and Menak Jingga are all have the character known as Raja Murka or the angry king (each is a raksasa or demon with ugly features and an evil nature). They are each in love with a beautiful princess belonging to one of the following main "good" characters: Panji, Rama, or Damarwulan.

Tari Klana is a very dynamic dance and the climax of the topeng performance. The character is very strong and can be rough or mean as it is a symbol of angry desire, which must be avoided or destroyed. But as a dance performance, Klana is the favorite character, a spectacular dance and an audience favorite. Even in the mid-1970’s people would come from far away just to see this dance mothers would bring their children to these performances to let them be carried by the dancer/mask master.

The mask of Klana has many different wanda or characters, that might not be clearly distinct from each other. There are at least four of these wanda:

  1. Barong - Big and mean
  2. Golek - small and mean
  3. Drodos - big, stupid, and funny
  4. Wringut - small and angry looking

Most people, even many dancers, are not familiar with all of these wanda. The two that are most often used are Golek and Wringut, with their mean expressions.