Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Legong dance

After our exciting morning and afternoon with monkeys and rain in Ubud (Indonesia), we attended a Balinese form of dance called Legong. This is 1 of 3 types of dance and by some is considered the most complex, graceful, and of most interest. Some types of dance have more dance and others have more drama.

The 1 we saw had lots of dance, drama, and music. We were surprised to see the precise but also jerky movements of body parts, especially wrists, hands, and fingers. They could bend their fingers into impossible-seeming positions! All of these movements were significant to the story being expressed as well as their intricate facial expressions throughout the dance.

We noticed very little contact between the dancers, each moving independently as their movements told the story.

The women wore bright makeup and their costumes consisted of brightly brocaded materials and elaborate headdresses full of flowers, with my favourite flower frangipani being used a lot in costumes and also on the stage. The men's costumes were also of very sophisticated workmanship.

Stage presence (courtesy of Dee)

Music was provided by 4 drummers seated on the stage floor along the ornate back wall of the stage. And along both the sides of the stage were several talented musicians playing gamelan music which has abrupt shifts of tempo and dramatic changes between silence and crashing noise.

This group of dancers consisted of 7 women, 2 duelling men, and 2 young boys. It was a very impressive evening of entertainment.

A few of the performers

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