18 May 2015 – Topeng is one of the oldest and most popular performances in Balinese theatre. As an effort to preserve the culture, on May 17, Indonesia Pavilion popularized Topeng in Milan Expo 2015 by performing two famous Topeng actors, I Made Djimat and Enrico Masseroli.
Topeng show generally performs myth and history, the epos of old courts, and amusing entertainment for everybody. In spitely, according to this year Milan Expo theme ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ which is about food, I Made Djimat and Enrico Masseroli performed the story of food in more modern form instead of the ‘usual’ old tale of traditional Topeng.
“The Topeng show is really unique, and interestingly one of the Topeng actors itself comes from Italy,” said Steve, the committee from Indonesia Pavilion. “Topeng show has successfully grabbed visitors attention, eventually Indonesia Pavilion was crowded with the people who watched the performance,” said the Director of Indonesia Pavilion, Mr. Budiman Muhammad.
Visitors were really enthusiastic and enjoy the Topeng show from the begining to the ending to get the point of the story. Some even would like to go to Indonesia, exploring more traditional art performance.
“The art performance of Topeng show is very attractive, makes me really want to go to Indonesia, especially Bali,” said one of the Italian visitors.
Besides enjoying Topeng, visitors afterwards delicating themselves in the food stall and Bogor Cafe – Desa Restaurant in Indonesia Pavilion to savor the authentic taste of archipelago.
I Made Djimat was born on 1948 by the family of artists. He is the Balinese Maestro of Topeng who showed his passion in art since he was a child. In his youth, I Made Djimat has established his own music ensemble (Pusaka Budaya, now Tri Pusaka Cakti). Since 1971, his career in international went on unceasingly by visiting more than 50 countries for performance, demonstration, and workshops. He has been rewarded with many achievements both locally and internationally.
On the other hand, Enrico Masseroli is an Italian descent who learn the heritage Balinese art from Maestro I Made Djimat since December 1978. In topeng art itself his first debut was on 1996 in some of European countries. Masseroli founded orchestra group Gamelan Gong Cenik with the characteristic of its traditional Balinese musical instruments. His appearance is also globally renowned.
In the show, appeared some of Topeng characters, they are Topeng Keras as the minister, Topeng Tua as the councellor, Penasar as the chamberlain, Topeng Dalem as the king. In addition, Bonderes, as the grotesque of common people, has four roles: Bues as the drunker, Pak Es as the naif ice cream seller, Keta the lame, Nyoman Semariani the admired girl, and Sidha Karya, which is the essential character that has to take part in every Balinese Topeng performance.