Tari Legong, One of Beautiful Dances from Bali

Tari Legong

Bali is one of the spearheads of Indonesian tourism. The island, known as the Island of the Gods, has a myriad of tourism potentials, including nature tourism and traditional and cultural tourism.

Related to culture, Bali has several types of regional dances such as the Kecak Dance and Legong Dance which are timeless and eroded by the times.

Tari Legong is a traditional Balinese dance that has complex movements in the form of a combination of dancer movements with the accompaniment of traditional Balinese gamelan music. For dance observers, it is said that the complex movements of the legong dancers are caused by the presence of gambuh elements.

Gambuh is one of the oldest dances in Bali and occupies the highest caste in Balinese dance.

History of Legong Dance

The name of the Legong dance comes from the word in Balinese, namely “leg” which means smooth dance movements, and the word “gong” which is taken from elements of the traditional gamelan musical instrument. 

Therefore, Legong Dance can be interpreted as a dance whose movements are tied to the gamelan or accompanying music.  Usually this dance is performed by a certain number of female dancers.

The emergence of the Legong dance originated from the palaces in Bali in the second half of the 18th century. It is said that this dance was born from the dream of a royal prince. The folklore that developed believed that a prince named Sukawati had this dream when he was sick.

In his dream, the prince saw 2 women dancing very gracefully to the accompaniment of traditional Balinese gamelan music. The dance movements that were performed and the strains of the music made Prince Sukawati illustrate it in a choreographic movement assisted by the bendesa or traditional leader of Ketewel.

Tari Legong

After recovering, he then taught it to the women in the kingdom.  From this event, the Legong dance, which is very sacred, is known to this day.

From the palace until it is known by the public, this dance is delivered by several dance teachers from various villages, such as the villages of Saba, Bedulu, Peliatan, Clandis and Sukawati. The teacher teaches his students and uses legong as the main part of the odalan ceremony.

Furthermore, this dance also developed into a dance in religious events or animist beliefs.  Tari Legong also cannot be separated from the Hindu palace culture and Hindu Dharma.

Meaning of Legong Dance

Legong dance contains elements or themes about religious and historical values ​​in Balinese culture. The movement in this dance is a form of expression of gratitude and gratitude of the Balinese people for their ancestors who gave abundant blessings to their descendants.

However, along with the times, the meaning of the Legong dance is not only limited to this, but also transformed into an entertainment dance to a welcoming dance that attracts tourists.

In the Tari Legong performance, there are various elements or compositions that make it more interesting. The composition includes musical instruments, dancers, clothing, makeup, stage decorations and so on.

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