The Classic Legong Lasem: A Love Story

by admin

Without a doubt, Legong Lasem is the most well-known among other dances in Bali. Many believe this dance was created around Peliatan, Ubud. For decades, it has been a symbol of Bali tourism. The most iconic performance can be seen at Balerung Stage, Peliatan.

It tells a story about the unrequited love of The King of Lasem to a princess, Rangkesari. The dance was inspired when the reigning king, Dewa Agung Made Karna did ascetic in Pura Payogan Agung, Ketewel. He saw angels dance beautifully.


In the 19th century, an aristocratic, I Dewa Gde Rai Perit composed the choreography. At that time, the dance could be performed inside the palace (keraton). The dance consists of two legong and a attendant (condong). The wardrobe is highly appealing as it uses using golden accent. In addition, the crown with plumeria flowers makes the dance more iconic.

Legong came from the word leg, which means the combination of movement and gamelan instruments that blend in harmony.


Some sources also mention that legong is still correlated with Gambuh, an old theater performance from Batuan. The more ancient version of this dance is Sang Hyang Dedari in Celuk Village, Sukawati, Gianyar. Another variation is Legong Kuntir which tells a story about the egret bird. A flock of this species usually has a habitat in Petulu Village, Ubud.

Legong Lasem is a comprehensive dance and takes a lot of dedication and discipline to master it. Hence, it is a foundation to learn other Balinese dances.

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