By Elizabeth A. Hanley
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Extra info for Asian Dance, 2nd Edition (World of Dance)
Long silver fingernails are attached to the left hand of demonic creatures. Most wear white, others gold or other-colored hoopskirts, ﬂared out with the insertion of small cushions tied at the waist. Blue and red stripes are ringed around the skirt bottoms. A full-sleeved heavy jacket is worn, with lots of jewelry dangling. Long, crinkled, white cloth strips with striped, bell-shaped cuﬀs are draped from the neck and ﬂy around the body as the performers move or dance. Many dancers support global headdresses at least twice as tall as their heads, in distinctive shapes that tell knowledgeable audience members who they are—demon, deity, warrior, or king.
Possession may also be the spirit’s way of communicating its desires for a new template, better oﬀerings, or proper behavior of humans. indd 53 12/11/09 3:17:16 PM 54 ASIAN DANCE (“deling” = puppet movement), provides impressive verification of the presence of these various spirits and can be recognized as one of Melford Spiro’s “connectors” to the superhuman realm. In what is now Thailand, episodes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana became the subject of drama and dance. Reenacting military or intellectual triumphs was a means of empowering the king to achieve equal success.
They rotate their thighs out, opening their knees and pressing down into deeply bent legs, as they prepare to attack each other with their daggers. Counterbalancing this philosophical blend of movement and meditation is the male court dance of Yogyakarta, wayang topeng, or masked theater-dance. Three traditional sources of the subjects are the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and a cycle of stories from the Majapahit dynasty, The Adventures of Prince Panji. Seldom are topengs performed in full length.