“Klana" is one of the 5 core rounds in Cirebon Mask Dance. While the other 4 core rounds—Panji, Samba, Rumyang, and Tumenggung—depict different phases of human life, Klana expresses anger & desire found in every human at all phases of his life. This is reflected by the red mask & costume, as well as by the dance aggresive movements accompanied by the festive & spirited “gojing” music.
“Palimanan” style of Cirebon Mask Dance is made famous by Ki Wentar of the Palimanan Village & his 5 successors; one of them is Mimi Soedji, a legendary Cirebon Mask dancer & Mr. Didik Nini Thowok’s teacher. Palimanan-style is renowned for varied dance stances because Ki Wentar determined that dance stance should be adjusted to the dancer. Additionally, in Palimanan-style, after all rounds have been performed, it is concluded with “Klana Udeng” which has movements from all the 5 core rounds plus additional movements that have not been performed in the previous rounds.
We are honored to host “Indonesia Menari - Dance Soirée: Klana Palimanan Cirebon Mask Dance” with internationally-acclaimed dancer @DidikNiniThowok on Monday (3/12). The Maestro shared his dance journey & taught dance community in DMV area introduction to the Klana Palimanan Cirebon Mask Dance.
The tradition of mask performance in Indonesia has existed since 10th-11th century when King Jenggala reigned in East Java & Hayam Wuruk of Majapahit Kingdom performed golden mask dance in front of the king’s wives, mom, daughters & other king’s female family members. Cirebon Mas Dance gained popularity when Sunan Gunung Jati—King of Cirebon and one of the “Wali Sanga”—used it as a media of art diplomacy against Prince Welang (who was known as having unbeatable power due to his Curug Sewu sword) and as 1 of the art forms to spread Islam because despite being rich in Hinduism-Buddhism philosophies, the dance reflects various human characters, such as innocence, love, leadership, wisdom, desire, anger, and human’s relationship with his Creator.
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Indonesian Embassy - Washington, DC