Experimenting the Modern Story "Mr. Tepis" to Balinese Topeng Masked Dance Theatre

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I Wayan Dibia


Abstract Topeng, one of Bali's most important theatrical forms, has always been identified as a masked dance theatre enacting Balinese chronicles (babad). Some have perceived the babad story as the most essential element and the cultural identity of topeng more than the use of masks. Using the production of Topeng "Mr. Tepis" as a focus of discussion, this paper presents an artistic endeavor to experiment a modern story to Balinese topeng masked dance theatre. The primary goal of this paper is to show that introducing modern stories into traditional theatre such as topeng may change the old image of the art form without destroying its aesthetic principle and cultural identity. The use of modern story may help topeng to maintain its popularity amidst the ever changing culture of Bali.


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