Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Legong programme at Puri Ubud

Last night (20 December) I attended the Legong programme of dances at Puri Ubud. Ubud's palace has been running nightly dance performances for tourists for decades. The group has toured abroad a number of times, and performances are always well attended due to the central location (opposite the market), prestige venue and the beauty of the setting. Last night was the full moon and was particularly nice to see the beautifully lit palace gate used as an entrance with the moon rising behind it.

While the programme was advertised as Legong, it was quite a smorgasbord of dance and music on offer, with Legong Kraton as being only one item. Other items included baris, a very short topeng tua, a panyembrana (welcome dance) of course, and so on. The highlights of the programme for me was an energetic Taruna Jaya, and the Legong Kraton, which had a superb Condong.

I think the pura would benefit from staging fewer items of a higher quality, and with more 'cultural' explanation. I can understand the appeal of lots of items (more photo opportunities etc) but the special environment of the palace would be better served by a more focused performance event.

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