The art of dance became one the richness cultur that is owned by Indonesia. Each region has a dance with its own uniqueness.
Mask Dance from Cirebon in West Java is a dance that is full of meaningful symbols which are expected to be understood by its audience. Symbols can be a value of leadership, love, or wisdom.
Mask dance was developed a lot in Cirebon in West Java. It became famous because of the expression of movements. The dancers covered their face with a mask when dancing, that is why it is called by the name Mask dance. This dance is usually performed by one or several beautiful dancers, the singers, and some men who play musical instruments.
Symbols and meaning of a Mask Dance performance are delivered through the mask colors, sum of masks, the number of gamelan players and naturally through the dance itself.
Mask Dance Movement which is played by the dancers in each performance is different, depending on the theme that will be displayed.
After some swirling movement the dancers cover the face with a cloth that contains the mask, then put the mask on the face as a symbol that the show has begun.
A similar process is performed when the dancers change the mask with a red mask. Uniquely, along with the change of the mask, the music accompanying will become loud. The loudest music is played when a red mask is worn by the dancers. These movements are a form of opening dance in the mask dance performances.
Cirebon Mask Dance
The one of mask dance maestro was Mimi Rasinah, an active dancer and teacher of studio art at The Mask Dance Mimi Rasinahlocated in the village Pekandangan, Indramayu . Since 2006 Mimi Rasinah was suffering from paralysis, but still excited to performe, dancing and teaching mask dance until the end of her life. Mimi Rasinah died in August 2010 at the age of 80 years.
Cultural and creative arts in Bali are extremely diverse, one of them is the art of dance and from various dances that exist in Bali, Legong dance is one of the dances that are worth to be watched. This dance is a Balinese cultural heritage that has undergone many developments.
Legong Dance in Bali culture is included in the type of classical dance, which at the beginning of its development originated from the royal palace in Bali. The dance was once only enjoyed by the noble families in their neighborhood in the palace as a dance entertainment. The dancers who have been asked to dance in front of the king will certainly feel a great pleasure, because not everyone is allowed to enter the palace.
The use of “Legong” word in the dance is a combination of the word ‘leg’ and ‘gong’. The word of ‘leg’ means flexibility and dynamically as the depiction of the dance movement that is performed by female dancers and “gong” means gamelan Balinese gamelan  as a musical instrument that accompanies this dance.
Prambanan is the largest Hindus temple in Southeast Asia. Its location which is not far from the temple of Borobudur as if to show about the harmony between the Buddhists and Hindus in Java, not just in the past but also today. Administratively, this temple is located on the border of Central Java and Yogyakarta, 17 kilometers from the center of Yogyakarta, in the middle area that is now built a beautiful park.
The temple that by the local community is known by the name Roro Jonggrang, has a legend. Long ago there was a powerful and magical young man who wanted to marry a beautiful princess named Roro Jonggrang. The king who also the father of the Princess had forced her to marry “Bandung Bondowoso”. He is the prince of the neighboring kingdom. Roro Jonggrang did not love him but could not reject it anyway. After a long consideration, she finally gave one condition to Bandung Bondowoso to build 1000 temples and promised to marry him if her requirements could be resolved before dawn.
Roro Jonggrang requested that the work had to be completed before the rooster crowed that she thought it was impossible. But the magical Bandung Bondowoso nearly could complete the 999 temples with the help of Jinnand his strength.
Roro Jonggrang asked the women in the village to start hitting the rice, to make the chickens woke up and began to crow. Bondowoso was very disappointed with her behavior, then changed her into a stone which is now known as Prambanan Temple, while the nearby temple called Sewu Temple or a thousand temples.
Prambanan temple was built in the 9th century, dedicated to the God Shiva (the destroyer), and two at each side dedicated to the God Brahma (the creator) and God Vishnu (the keepers). The highest temple is 47 meters 5 meters higher than Borobudur temple and also among other temples in the vicinity. The foundation of this temple has fulfilled the desire to show Hindu triumph in the island of Java.
Prambanan also has temple reliefs, which contains the story of Ramayana. According to experts, the relief is similar to the Ramayana story revealed through oral tradition. Another interesting relief is Kalpataru tree that the Hindu religion is considered as a tree of life, sustainability and environmental compatibility. At Prambanan, reliefs of Kalpataru trees depicted flanking the lion. The existence of this tree makes experts consider that the ninth century had wisdom to manage their environment.
Prambanan was rediscovered by a Dutch citizen named CA Lons in 1733 after hundred years neglected. This temple has been renovated and is now known as the most beautiful Hindus temple in Indonesia.
The beauty and complexity of the architecture Prambanan as a very beautiful building has been named as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1991.
Ramayana – Performing Arts at Prambanan Temple
Ramayana ballet is a dance drama, which tells the story of Ramayana, especially about Rama who is a legendary Hindus king and also can be said as the incarnation of God. This drama tells the story of Rama’s bravery.This famous drama, held at Prambanan Temple courtyard area in the form of dance. Ramayana ballet drama at Prambanan are usually held on the period of full moon to be enjoyed by visitors on various dates in that period of approximately six months. The dancers demonstrate their dancing skills to the audience in the beautiful traditional outfit.
Ramayana Dance drama at Prambanan temple is different from the original story in India, it reflects the result of adaptation with Java culture for years and it is one of the best dance performance in Indonesian.
In this show not only the music and dance are carefully prepared, lighting has also been prepared in detail. This provides more value, because the light is not a torch light only, but much light from the lamp are designed to describe the events and moods of the characters.
Prambanan Ramayana Ballet won the international award “PATA Gold Award 2012” beat 180 contestants from 79 countries in category “Heritage and Culture”, which is obtained at the annual conference of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 21 April 2012.
A set of gamelan composed from the several musical instruments, including a set of similar instruments called drums, fiddle and zither, xylophone, gongs and bamboo flutes. The main components of the gamelan musical instruments are made from bamboo, metal, and wood. Each instrument has its own functions. The music is soft and reflects the harmony of Javanese life will be touched and calm the soul was heard.
In the puppet show, usually have a story from the Ramayana and Mahabharata by using Sundanese languange and accompanied by Sundanese music tools which called gamelan and performed by a puppeteer as the leader of the show and sing the song for the show, voicing various characters, set the gamelan and other songs. Gamelan musical instruments can be seen from the photo below.