It is said when a preparation of nangluk merana or pest prevention ritual was held in Besakih Temple during the reign of Dalem Waturenggong, came an ugly stranger in ragged clothes who claimed himself to be the king’s brother. The man with such disgusting appearance claimed as a brahmin and no one believed him. Without a command, the people cast out and insulted the man from Keling while taunting with the bursts of hurtful words. When the man was away from the venue of ceremony, the uninvited guest echoed a curse so that the ceremony turned incoherent.
Ultimately, it really happened what he expected. The days of ritual preparation turned chaotic. Ritual paraphernalia made thoroughly and with difficulty was suddenly rotten and destroyed. Moreover, main ingredients of the ceremony were no longer easy to obtain. Suddenly the land turned dry, while plants wilted and died. The weather grew hotter and people were sweltering. Dalem Waturenggong immediately attempted to contemplate what caused the disharmony and catastrophe. He assigned his underlings to fetch the Keling brahmin. After expressing his apology, the Keling brahmin was asked to get fully involved in the ceremony which would be carried out soon. The brahmin was then recognized as the king’s brother and awarded the title of Dalem Sidakarya.
The legend originating from the Chronicle Bebali Sidakarya was framed in a dramatic structure so that it could engender the art of mask performances. Started with the introduction of pangelembar mask, Kodi opened with the dance of hard mask and old mask. This section was an opportunity for the dancer to show off his dance skills. The hard mask appearing first had a strict facial expression revealed through a straightforward and nimble interpretation. On the way round, the old mask then showed off a gentle characteristic, old facial expression with white hair, eyebrows, and whiskers. His old age was also illustrated by the behavior of the unsteady and frail motion.
Emergence of the penasar figures marked the beginning of the story. Then, the figure with half-opened mask—eyes and mouth—acted as the narrator. He opened, controlled the storyline, and served as a commentator. Through the figure as Penasar, Kodi attempted to contextualize the setting of storyline through expression of some social criticisms at issue lately. Arsawijaya mask presented next was intended to make the atmosphere quiet. The mask with charismatic look framed with a smooth and supple choreography exposed gestures in its dramatization. In the performance played that afternoon, this mask was no other than Dalem Waturenggong.
Characters of the ordinary people called bondres turned to be a complement of the mask performance. Pajegan mask presented by Kodi in the Wantilan Hall of Bali Art Center Denpasar showcased some personifications of the average person. It was on the performance the capability of a dancer could be seen, especially how to give emphasis on the theme he played through the aspiration of small people. With strong characterization, Kodi was so keen to play the characters of his bondres, both visible through totality of characterization or through the theme made into communication reference of spiritual and religious values packed humorously.
Sidakarya mask appearing at the end of the Pajegan Mask dance-drama indeed functioned or was interpreted to establish a religious ceremony. The most important and major figure in the ritual performance was the white mask denoting a combination of human and demonic facial expressions. The mouth gaped between laughing and grimacing, while the eyes narrowed between scaring and loving. With a bowl containing the canang sari oblation, yellow rice, incense, and perforated coins, the figure showing off the behavior between malignant and affectionate chanted mantra and then threw perforated coins and yellow rice. (BTN/BP)
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