Balinese Legong Dance
Legong is one of Balinese dances that characterized by the intricate finger movements, complicated steps, expressive gestures and facial expressions and always did by females dancers. Its delicacy is heightened by the fact that is performed by richly costumed young dancers.
Legong is always danced at public festivals. Excerpts from Legong dance dramas which are put on for tourists. Looking at the early begin, Legong dance was created because of the dream of Prince Sukweti during his illness. He dream about two maids were dancing in gamelan music. After he recovered, he arranged for such dance to be performed in reality. In other believe, Legong was originally dedicated to the Sanghyang Dedari, which the ceremony involving the two little girls by beneficent spirits.
The Legong dancers have to learn the basic move and from early begin, start from the training of the posture (tangkep), movements and mimicry. Three dancers in glittering costumes – one tjondong lady-in-waiting and two princesses whose roles change according to the narrative – usually perform it. The ancient legong used to have a storyteller’s accompaniment, but these days they are only dance performances.
Legong dancers are always girls who have not yet reached puberty. They begin rigorous training at about the age of five. These dancers are regarded highly in the society and usually become wives of royal personages or wealthy merchants.