TARIAN LEGONG

LEGONG DANCE ; Legong is a form of Balinese dance. It is a refined dance form characterized by intricate finger movements, complicated footwork, and expressive gestures and facial expressions. Legong probably originated in the 19th century as royal entertainment. Legend has it that a prince of Sukawati fell ill and had a vivid dream in which two maidens danced to gamelan music. When he recovered, he arranged for such dances to be performed in reality. Others believe that the Legong originated with the sanghyang dedari, a ceremony involving voluntary possession of two little girls by beneficent spirits. Legong is also danced at public festivals. Excerpts from Legong dance dramas are put on for tourists. Traditionally, legong dancers were girls who have not yet reached puberty. They begin rigorous training from about the age of five. These dancers are regarded highly in the society and usually become wives of royal personages or wealthy merchants. After marriage they would stop dancing.