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Balinese Mask Dance from the Perspective of a Master Artist: I Ketut Kodi on Topeng

From: Asian Theatre Journal
Volume 22, Number 2, Fall 2005
pp. 199-213 | 10.1353/atj.2005.0031


I Ketut Kodi is one of the most noted performers of topeng mask dance and wayang puppetry in Bali today. These are two of the most important Balinese arts in that they have exorcistic power needed to complete religious ceremonies. The topeng dancer, like the dalang, is part entertainer, part philosopher, and part exorcist. Kodi teaches at Institute Seni Indonesia (Indonesian Institute of the Arts, formerly STSI) in Denpasar and performs all over the island, often multiple times in a single day. The following interview gives insight into the practice of this important artist who has experienced both the traditional method of training under a village master and the modern method.