For three hours, Agung led a group of 15 dancers through various elements of his artistic practice. He started with a rough and ready taster of tarian topeng klono, a mask dance from the royal court of Jogjakarta. He then encouraged the participants to get to know their own masks, in a series of exercises involving looking at the mask, feeling the mask on the face, free movement and moving while focusing upon the mask.
The workshop culminated in a group improvisation with all the masked participants exploring their own and each other’s developing characters, before a final wild return to the tarian topeng klono. As a finale, Agung performed the tarian topeng klono wearing his mask, to the delight of the group whose appreciation had deepened through their brief encounter with the art form.
For more images of the workshop, see the album on Rimbun Dahan’s Facebook page:
About Agung Gunawan
Agung Gunawan was born in 1971 in Klaten, Central Java. After graduation from the High School of Arts in Yogyakarta, he continued studies of Yogyakarta classical dance in Surya Kencana and at the Kraton (Palace) where he continues to perform. He studied Sumatranese, Betawian and Kalimantan dance with Bagong Kusudiharjo and contemporary dance with M. Miroto. He is presently Assistant Choreographer of the Miroto Dance Company and has toured with them in Holland, Belgium, Germany Africa and of course Indonesia. He has performed with other groups in USA, Romania, Italy, South Korea, Australia and Japan. He is actively involved in contemporary music and has also choreographed for movies. Agung is director of Manisrenggo Culture Festival and he is also conceptual director of The Arts Island Festival which tours through Java and Bali.