TAKSU - Balinese mask dancer

TAKSU is a unique Balinese concept meaning charisma, spiritual power and artistic inspiration needed to truly capture eyes, minds and hearts of the audience, both human and divine. Every artist in Bali strives for TAKSU.

Mask dancer Ida Wayan Gotama, from the East Bali village of Budakeling in Bebandem, is carefully going through religious rituals and prayers before putting on the mask, completely surrendering to the Gods and his art, seeking divine performance energy. 

Although I’m not an expert in Balinese dance I do know when I see a gifted artist. Through dance they bring a mask to life and when their wooden eyes catch yours it feels like they look straight into your soul… It gives me goosebumps: proof of the dancer’s TAKSU.

Accompanied by traditional Gamelan music artist Ida Wayan Gotama is putting up a brilliant performance as an old man, with a Topeng Tua: “old mask”.

The Topeng Sidakarya mask is only used during a sacred dance during ritual temple ceremonies. The mask represents a combination of human and demonic facial expressions: the gaping mouth shows a laugh as well as grimace, while the narrowed eyes are loving as well as scaring. It is a dance expressing good as well as evil.

The Sidakarya mask dance completes the ceremonies and is followed by the actual prayers during temple ceremonies.