Jakarta is a metropolis which is included as the capital city of Indonesia. Although this area is a large and metropolitan city, Jakarta also has some riches in traditional pleasures. This time we will discuss one of the traditional arts from Jakarta. One of the arts is the Betawi Mask Dance.
Betawi Mask Dance is a traditional dance art from the Betawi people which is characterized by the dancers using masks in dancing. This dance is a combination of dance, music and singing. Like a theater or opera performance, dancers dance to the accompaniment of music and singing. Betawi Mask Dance is more theatrical and communicative through movement.
Initially, Betawi Mask Dance was performed on a tour by artists. They are usually invited to perform entertainment in events such as weddings, circumcisions, and others. According to the myth of the Betawi community, this dance can keep away from catastrophe. But along with the changing times, this dance is only entertainment on the show. But even though that trust is starting to disappear, this dance is still held to enliven parties or various activities.
In the performance, the Betawi Mask Dance begins with a song accompanied by accompanying music. After that the dancers come out while dancing using masks. The movements performed by dancers depend on the theme being sung. The themes that are carried out in this dance are classified as varied, including community life, legends, social criticism, and other classic stories.
Betawi Mask Dance is theatrical in nature. So that there is a message conveyed through the movement in dancing. This dance is usually accompanied by traditional Betawi musical instruments such as fiddle, big drum, kempul, three chromong, kecrek, kulanter and gong buyung.
The costumes used in the Betawi Mask Dance also depend on the theme being carried, but still cannot be separated from the typical Betawi clothing. For male dancers, they usually wear clothes such as black clothes, T-shirts, trousers, and sarongs.
In addition, the head usually uses a cap or headband. For female dancers, usually use a long cloth and kebaya clothes equipped with a scarf. In addition to the head wearing a colorful crown which is commonly called the mask flower. Of course wearing a mask that covers the faces of the dancers. The mask is made of wood. This mask does not wear a head strap, but the dancers attach it to their face by biting the hook on the inside of the mask.
Performing this traditional dance is not easy. There are 3 things that must be owned by these Betawi mask dancers. first, the dancer must be gendes, that is, flexible or graceful. Dancers also have to be cheerful and shouldn’t look sad while dancing. Finally, the dancer must be agile and move freely.
In its development, Betawi Mask Dance is not only used as an entertainment event during weddings or circumcisions. However, this dance is also often performed at major Betawi traditional events in Jakarta. Betawi Mask Dance has developed, so that there are many variations and types such as gandes lipet dance, single mask dance, enjot-enjotan dance, gegot dance, beautiful mask dance, princess mask dance, expression mask dance, and kang aji dance.
So, are you interested in learning these traditional dances?