Legong Performance in Ubud
Ubud is the centre for arts and culture in Bali. I stayed in Ubud for almost 2 weeks during my time in Bali, April-May 2011. Not only were my dancing feet surprisingly satisfied dancing salsa at Café Havana, but yes, my eyes were amused with arts and crafts and entertained by cultural performances everynight. One of my favorites is the Legong Dance that’s performed at the Ubud Palace.
I’ve heard of Balinese dancing being so intricate with every move – footwork, gestures, eyes and especially the fingers. They say that girls who dance Legong start their training around the age of 5 (very young!) These dancers are respected and given high regard in the society. I myself would, as watching them dance to the gamelan music is just a magical thing. I am a passionate dancer, but never before have I seen a dance performance like that. I even tried to move my fingers the way they do it, but I can’t. I understand why they start training at such a young age! Those movements are hard to do and master!
The dancers, actually, everyone who took part in that performance were beautifully dressed, in bright, amazing colors! Not to mention their eye shadows!
Legong dance enacts several traditional stories and heroic romances, such as the tale of King Lasem from the Malat and another famous one is the Mahabarata. Before the performance, organizers hand pamplets where the summary of the story being enacted is written. The performance is a bit long, if i remember it correctly, it lasted for almost an hour (or even more). I booked my ticket at the hostel I stayed at. You will see a lot of locals who will try to sell you tickets on the way to Ubud Palace. I prefer buying at the hostel as when I entertained one local seller at the street, all other sellers who saw me talking to that one seller approached me too and they all tried to sell me the ticket at the same time. LOL As if there was 20 of me who will watch the same show.
These photos can barely describe the performance – specially the finger movements and stares and glares that the dancers did. To watch a part of it better, here’s my wee attempt to video it – Legong Dance at Ubud Palace.
These girls are really talented and very beautiful!
There are a lot of performances to choose from – Kecak Fire Dance, Barong & Keris Dance, Ramayana Ballet. I also watched the Kecak performance. I reckon it’s one of the good ways to get cultured and learn about Bali. Most accomodations have the schedule of performances and you can get your ticket from there too. (So you can avoid being swarmed by 20 ticket sellers! LOL)