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Bali Legong Dance

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Legong Dance is a classic dance that has a very complex library of movement that flow along with gamelan. The word “Legong” is from the word “leg” mean elastic, elegance, and the word “gong” mean the music, so the Leg - Gong is a dance represents the epitomy of grace and femininity. The dancer has to let all the energy of the gamelan’s sounds flow to their body untill you feel shaking. The hands are the most mesmerizing, as the arms move up and about, the fingers are doing a dance of their own. They can make individual pairs of fingers flutter simultaneously, at the same time, the eyes are darting from left to right.

The story behind legong is very stylized and symbolic, involves three dancers, the two legong and their attendant, the congong. The legongs are beautifully dressed tightly with gold brocade that so surprising they can move so rapidly.

Some villages in Central and Southern Bali are considered home of the legong. They are, Peliatan, Ubud, Saba, Bedulu, Sukawati in Gianyar area, Binoh in Badung area, Kerambitan in Tabanan area, among others. These villages posses long legong traditions, and most of them still own high quality legong troupes today.

Some of Balinese dances are now labeled as 'classic'. This classic label only presented to an arts form that posses exceptional quality and endurance to survive for many generations, and legong is considered as one of them.

Meanwhile, story of the birth of the legong is no less intriguing than the legong it self. In early nineteenth century, a prince in Sukawati was in a coma condition caused by his ill. In his coma he saw two beautiful nymphs dancing a feminine and delicate dance. Not only he saw the dance, he heard the sound of music that accompanying it as well. Struck by the mysterious and beautiful sight and sound, later after his health revival, together with artists of the village, he transformed his imagination into reality. So, born the legong, another performing arts form, as a gentle touch of the arts to the already arts fertile island.

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