Legong Dance Story and What is Legong Dance Bali?
The History of Legong
The history of the exquisit Legong dance begins in 18th century when the king of Sukawati, I Dewa Agung Made Karna meditated for 42 days and nights in the Payongan Agung temple in Ketewel,Gianyar. While he meditated he saw two brightly colored celestial angels in glittering gold costumes.
He summoned the dancers and the musicians in the village and taught them what he had seen after he finished his meditation. He called the dance Shang yang Legong. The first Legong dance was performed in the temple using the nine masks and is still performed during the odalan, which falls on Pagerwesi in the Balinese calendar Another Creation of Legong Legong Nandir is similar to Legong Ratu Dedari but is danced by young boys without using masks. But this legong dance not longer exists. Another Legong dance was created in the mid 1930s-1950s with the name Legong Keraton, a solo dance but lacks specific terminology.
The Legong dance is divided into four or five parts such as papeson (entrance), pengawak (main part), pengecet (elaboration of pengawak), pengipuk (in several stories), and pekaad (ending). The five parts have their own characteristics such as the pengawak is more elegant, slower than papeson, pengecet has double tempo, pengipuk is a kissing section for the love scene or fighting scene, and pekaad is the movement where the dancer faces first the audience, then downstage, and then turns around leaving slowly.
There are many kinds of Legong dance stories and may vary in each village such as Jobog dance (the monkey battle of Sugriwa and Subali), Kuntul (two rice paddy birds play in the field), Lasem (story about princess Langkesari), Kupu-Kupu Tarung that shows two playful butterflies, Prabangsa (Prabangsa who wants to kill Ragda), Semaradhana (the story of Samara and Ratih) and many more.