Legong is a group of classical Balinese dances that have a very complex motion your that is tied to the structure of the accompaniment that is said to be an influence of the gambuh. The word Legong derives from the word “leg” which means dance moves that are supple or flexible and “gong ” which means gamelan. “Legong ” thus contains the meaning of a bound dance motion (especially its accent) by the gamelan that surrounds it. Gamelan is used to accompany the Legong dance named Gamelan Semar Pagulingan.
Legong was developed in the 19th-century Balinese palaces of the second half. It is said that the idea started from a prince from Sukawati who in a hard illness dreamed of seeing two girls dancing with a weak roar accompanied by beautiful gamelan. When the prince recovered from his illness, his dream was poured out in a repertoire of dances with complete gamelan.
In accordance with its initial beginnings, the raw Legong dancers were two girls who had not yet got a menstrual period, being rushed under the full moon in the palace’s courtyard. These two dancers, called Legong, are always equipped with fans as aids. In some legong dances there is an additional dancer, called Skew, which is not equipped with a fan.
The structure of the tarits is generally comprised of Papeson, Pangawak,, and Pakaad.
In the development of the era, Legong had lost popularity in the early 20th century by the rise of the dance form Kebyar from the northern part of Bali. New revitalizing efforts have begun since the late 1960’s, by digging back old documents for reconstruction
There are about 18 Legong dances developed in the south of Bali, such as Gianyar (Saba, Bedulu, Pejeng, Peliatan), Badung (Binoh and Kuta), Denpasar (Kelandis), and Tabanan (Tista).
Legong Lasem (Kraton)
The Legong is the most popular and often featured in tourist performances. The dance was developed in Peliatan. The raw dances were extracted by two legongs and a leaning man. Leaning made his first appearance, then followed the two legongs that had taken Legong Lasem. The repertoire with three dancers is known as the Palace Legong. This dance takes the base of Panji stories (12th and 13th centuries, the era of Kadiri kingdom), that is, about the wishes of the King (Duke) Lasem (now enters Rembang Regency) to drink Rangkesari, daughter of the Kingdom of Daha (Kadiri), but he did not praise by kidnap him. The princess rejected the Duke’s pinning because she was tied by Raden Panji of Kahuripan. Knowing her sister was kidnapped, the king of Kadiri, who was the brother of Rangkesari’s daughter, declared war and departed for Lasem. Before fighting, the Duke of Lasem had to face the attack of the death-bearer Garuda. He managed to escape but was subsequently killed in a battle against King Daha.
This dance, as usual, played a pair of Legong. The story taken is from the Ramayana footage, about the rivalry of the two brothers Sugriwa and Subali (Kuntir and Jobog) who fought the ajimat of his father. Because the Ajimat was thrown into a magical lake, the two fought up into the lake. Without realizing it, the two turned into apes., and the battle was no result.
The Legong Legod bring
This dance takes the story of the rivalry of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu in search of the Lingga deity Syiwa.
The Legong Kuntul
This legong tells some of the birds of the heron who have fun chatting.
The “Legong Smaradahana”
The Legong Sudarsana Take a story like a Calonarang
Some areas have a distinctive legong. In the village of Tista (Tabanan) There is a type of Legong named Andir (Nandir). In Payogan Agung (Ketewel) Temple there is also Legong dance that wears a mask named “Sanghyang ratu dedari” or Topeng ratu dedari.