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Jakarta Post

Wangi Indriya: Behind mask

  • Dian Kuswandini

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 12 2010   /  08:48 am

If Wangi Indriya could travel back to her childhood and change something in her past, it would be the way she fell in love with dancing. JP/DIAN KUSWANDINIHaving danced for the last 40 years, the traditional tari topeng (mask dance) maestro still bares scars from her childhood, when her father forced her and her sisters to learn how to dance to make a living. “My father kept telling us: ‘Dancing comes first. School is second, and playing is third,’” recalled the 49-year-old petite woman, who was born in Indramayu, West Java. “My father said it was better for us to dance and make lots of money, than to work on a farm.” Wangi was born with the blood of artists running through her veins, as she was raised in a family that made a living from traditional art performances. Her great grandfather – and grandfather were multitalented artists, her father is a dalang (puppeteer) and e...