Legong Dance  is the most graceful of Balinese dances. There are various forms of theLegong Dance, but the Legong Kraton is one most often performed. A performances involves just three dancers. The two Legong and their attendant known as Condong. The Legongs are identically dressed in tightly bound gold brocade. So tightly are they encased that it’s something mystery how they manage to move with such agility and speed.Their Faces are elaborately made up, their eyebrows plucked and repainted, and their hair decorated with frangipanis.
The Dances Relates how a king takes a maiden, Rangkesari, captive. WhenRangkesari’s brother comes to release her, he begs the king to let her free rather than go to war. The kings refuses and on his way to the battle meets  a bird bringing ill omens. He ignored the birds and continues on to meet Rangkesari’s brother, who kills him. The dance, however, relates only the lead up to the battle and end with the bird’s appearance. When the king leaves the stage he is going to the battle that will end in his death.

The dance starts with an introduction by the Condong. She departs as the Legongsenter. The Legongs Dance solo, in close identical formation, and even in mirror image formation when they dance nose to nose love scene. They relate the king’s sad departure from his queen. Rangkesari‘s request that he release her and the king’s departure to battle. Finally the Condong reappears with tiny golden wing as the bird of ill fortune and the dance ends.
 
The “Legong” dance is the quintessential Balinese dance in all its glory. A classical dance that springs from age-old temple dances performed to appease the gods, the “Legong” is the epitome of grace and beauty. It is characterised by highly stylised slow movements. Its delicacy is heightened by the fact that is performed by richly costumed young dancers (sometimes only four years old), many of whom retire at the tender age of 18.

Each village in Bali has its own traditional “Legong” performance that narrate stories that are characteristic of a particular dance troupe and area. Typically, the stories are slice-of-life episodes, such as the “Tenun” or “Weavers” Dance, and scenes from nature, such as the “Belibis”, or “dance of the wild geese”. The most popular and important “Legong” dance are those performed in praise of the Gods, such as Panyembrahma, and to welcome guests. The dances have also been used as a means of teaching through the ages.

The correct code of conduct before kings and the etiquette that required people to lead a graceful and cultivated life are imparted through this medium, as portrayed in the “Wiranata”, or the warrior dance, and the “Kebyar Duduk” dance. The “Legong” is the unsurpassed queen of all Balinese dances, bringing to mind the grace of the island and its beautiful people.

In legends, Legong is the heavenly dance of divine nymphs. Girls from the age of five aspire to be selected to represent the community as Legong dancers.

The most popular of Legongs is the Legong Kraton -- 'Legong of the Palace'. Formerly, the dance was patronized by local kings and held in a residence of the royal family of the village.

 Dancers were recruited from the aptest and prettiest children. Today, the trained dancers are still very young; a girl of fourteen approaches retirement as a Legong performer.

The highly stylized Legong Kraton enacts a drama of a most purified and abstract kind. The story is performed by three dancers: a female attendant of the court and two identically dressed legongs who adopt the roles of royal persons. The suggestive themes of the magnificent gamelan orchestra and the minds of the audience conjure up imaginary changes of scene.

 The story derives from the history of East Java in the 12th and 13th centuries.  A king finds the maiden Rangkesari lost in the forest. He takes her home and locks her in a house of stone. Rangkesari's brother, the Prince of Daha, learns of her captivity and threatens war unless she is set free.

Rangkesari begs her captor to avoid war by giving her liberty, but the king prefers to fight. On his way to battle, he is met by a bird of ill omen that predicts his death. In the fight that ensues he is killed. The dance dramatizes the farewells of the King as he departs for the battlefield and his ominous encounter with the bird.

The tiny dancers glitter and dazzle. Bound from head to foot in gold brocade, it is a wonder the legongs can move with such fervent agitation. The dancers flow from one identity into the next without disrupting the harmony of the dance. They may enter as the double image of one character, their movements marked by tight synchronization. Then they may split, each enacting a separate role, and come together again. In a love scene in which they rub noses, for example, the King takes leave of Rangkesari. She repels his advances by beating him with her fan, and he departs in anger, soon to perish on the battlefield.

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