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Home » Dance, Drama & Music

Legong Saba Style  

by on Sunday, 9 April 20064 Comments | 2,710 views


Puri Taman Saba was nestled within Puri Saba compound. Since 1951 descendant of late I Gusti Gede Raka lived there. Arie Smit was also closed friends of late I Gusti Gede Raka that often visited Puri Taman Saba.

It was lovely evening; stage set up was perfect with Kori Agung in the middle, Semar Pegulingan orchestra on left and right side decorated with plaited coconut leave. Near by the stage there was water garden where you can find small building in the middle – this is why this Puri called “Taman” means garden.

However, all of sudden was starting drizzling as it was performed in open stage so the host committee decided to move the performance to indoor stage which was next to open stage.


Based on the desire to preserve and to document Legong Saba style which is disappearing from the public, Didik Nini Thowok, Anak Agung Rai Saba, Ace Robin and Nunik Anurningsih supported by Maharani record have worked together to create tonight’s performance. With the intention to reintroduce this Sabastyle Legong and pass it on to the next generation.

A summary of the Legong Saba history, Legong was derived from Legong Keraton which was created at the beginning of the 19 century in Sukawati. This dance was then spread out to Saba, Peliatan and different parts of Bali. When Legong Keraton came to Saba in 1911 it was led by I Gusti Gede Oka and succeeded by I Gusti Bagus Jelantik who has a significant role in nurturing base dance and made it well known in 1930. I Gusti Gede Raka who was better known as Anak Agaung Raka Saba took over the leadership after I Gusti Bagus Jelantik passed away. During his tour he managed to introduce Legong Saba to different parts of the world such as Italy in 1980, London 1985, Germany 1991 and France in 1987 and 1995, however in Bali itself this Legong Saba has started to disappear. Anak Agung Raka passed away in 2000 and he was succeeded by his son I Gusti Ngurah Serama Semadi better known as Agung Rai Saba who had already been appointed and trained in 1979 to take over his father’s role.

List of Tonight’s Performance:



Legong Condong
This dance tells Condong’s (the maid of the princess’s) role in preparing the princess’s to dance. This will be follow by Legong Bapang symbolizes a dynamic and energetic character in Legong. As quoted by Agung Raka Saba: the Gods enthusiastically watching angels bathing in the garden of Suranadi.

Legong Lasem
Expresses Prabu Lasem’s anger when he was rejected by Diah Langkesari. On his way to battle front he was attacked by a crow. That was the moment when he realized that could be defeated in the battle, as the crow is a symbol of failure.

Legong Chandra Kantha
A meeting between the sun and the moon causing darkness (solar eclipse). According to legend, Chandra (the Moon) is eaten by Kalawaru and swallowed down to the throat.



Semara Dhana
The burning of Dewa Asmara and Dewi Ratih by Mata Ketiga Shiwa. Shiwa’s rage illustrated in the form of Rangda. Dewa Asmara and Dewi Ratih is bestowed by Dewa Shiwa the ability come down to earth and enter the world of men so that men may experience romance (asmara).


I Gusti Ngurah Serama Semadi better known as Agung Rai Saba.


Didik Nini Thowok (on the right) with other Legong Saba dancers.


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