Topeng Calonarang – A Story of Magic and Power


NUS Department of Southeast Asian Studies, with support from the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia and NUS Office of Student Affairs, is proud to present Topeng Calonarang – A Story of Magic and Power.

Topeng Calonarang tells the story of the exploits of the widow witch of Dirah and King Erlangga of Kediri, East Java. Derived from classical texts composed in the fourteenth century, the story of Calonarang is very well-known in Bali. Performances of Calonarang include a host of actors playing different roles ranging from witches, animals, students of magic, comedians and the lion-like Barong.  The play is traditionally associated with death and resurrection and is often performed as part of temple ceremonies.

Produced and directed for the first time by students in the class SE3230 Seen and Unseen: Explorations in Balinese Theatre, this student led production is a Bali-Singapore (NUS) first. It is an excellent opportunity to showcase the close bilateral ties Singapore has with Indonesia as well as the fascinating beauty of Balinese dance drama, rarely seen in Singapore. The performance will also feature guest dancers from Singapore’s only Balinese dance group, Eka Suwara Santhi.