The pelegongan dance repertoire in Bali remains one of the most performed and rigorously taught forms in Balinese dance. What elements define this form and what degrees of variation within these elements, in turn, are allowable? In other words, what makes a legong dance a legong? For the present study I explore this question by looking at "Legong Gering," a new legong dance created in 2005 by I Nyoman Cerita for Odalan Bali, a North American touring concert by Çudamani, a performance troupe from Pengosekan village, Ubud, Bali. The study begins with an analysis of the context and visual elements of the piece (including costuming, choreography, and musical accompaniment). It then uses an explicit approach in explaining the motivations behind creation: it defines the pelegongan form and then analyzes how closely "Legong Gering" follows these "standards." "Legong Gering" is governed by both new and preexisting social and religious concepts." Legong Gering," much like the Odalan Bali performance, is an aestheticization of ritual itself. As a corollary to this short study, I also entertain the possibility of studying the "implicit" nature of dance knowledge and creation with reference to the legong dance form.


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pp. 329-343
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