Legong Dance is one of the most popular Balinese dace that is originally developed in Pelitan, Ubud, Gianyar Regency. The word legong is derived from two words, Leg which means flexible and Gong which means Gamelan. Therefore, the word Legong means movement that is bound or affected by the accompany of Gamelan. Legong dance has a very complex movement, it is characterized with complicate finger and footwork as well as expressive facial expressions. The dance was originally performed to entertain the king and his family.
One story about Legong Dance is told that the prince of Sukawati who ill and had a dream about two maidens that danced to a Gamelan music. When the prince had recovered, he arranged and made two maidens dance in reality as he saw in his dream. While others believe that Legong is originated by a ceremony involving two girls by beneficent spirits. Now days, Legong Dance is danced and performed at public festivals as well as restaurants.
Legong Dance is performed by three dancers in gorgeous Balinese costumes, usually girls who have not reached puberty. The two dancers dress identically and adopts the role of royal persons. Legong dancers must learn the dance from the basic moves starting from the training of the posture, movements and the mimicry. Balinese girls usually begin Legong Dance training at about the age of five. The original Legong Dance is performed with a storyteller, but these days it is only performed with the accompany of Gamelan orchestra. Legong Dance is performed regularly at Puri Saren Ubud (Ubud Palace) and other temples in Ubud area.