Legong Keraton dance as a genre of traditional Balinese dance in the classification of dance for the spectacle, at the beginning of its appearance (the second half of the nineteenth century) was better known as art that 'belongs' to the castle. Furthermore, since the beginning of the twentieth century, Legong Keraton (Legong tradition dance) began to spread to people outside the castle, experiencing changes in form and structure of the presentation that resulted on the appearance of Legong variation later called as Legong creations.
Currently, the subsistence of Legong tradition still exists, coexisting with Legong creations and other dance creations that 'come and go'. Forms of influence of Legong Keraton can be traced at Kebyar dance genre or kekebyaran, ballet, and other creations dance. "Actually, the existence of Legong is a source of dance creation in Bali which went beyond Gambuh that up until now is seen as a predecessor of Balinese dance," said Ni Nyoman Sudewi in her doctoral examination at the Graduate School of Universitas Gadjah Mada on Thursday (21/7). Sudewi was maintaining her dissertation entitled the Development and Influence of Legong Keraton to the Growth of Bali Dance in the period between 1920-2005.
In her dissertation, Sudewi said that the presence of Legong Keraton that presents the different aesthetical concept from the genres of previous period dance is seen as a trigger for the onset of aesthetic changes of performing arts forms (dance) in Bali. Legong tradition has a variety of shapes and quality of motions that allow the forming of motion flexibility of the dancers.
Sudewi added that in the range of 1920 to 2005, there were some important achievements as a reference that explains the Legong Kraton has experienced progress. Legong Keraton has spread to various cultural areas experiencing change especially on the elements of form and structure of presentation. "The changes that occurred lean towards the reinforcement of tradition," said the woman born in Singaraja, August 15, 1958.
The lecturer of ISI Dance Department Faculty of Performing Arts explained that some view of artist community in Bali, which considers Legong Keraton as a cultural products of the past cannot be denied to have contributed significantly to the growth of dance in Bali. Legong Keraton has the ability to survive as well as influence or inspire the presence of new works, not only inspiring the birth of a new dance, but also inspiring painters and photographers in the birth of their works. "Legong transmitted from generation to generation as a dance that is highly recommended to be acknowledged and mastered by them (especially the female dancer) who studied Balinese dance, both through formal and non-formal education institutions," Sudewi added.
From the research results that uses etnochoreology approach and supported the theory of the dance discipline, history, anthropology, and sociology, Sudewi hopes that as a cultural treasure that have been well-established, especially in Balinese society, it has to be preserved. All relevant elements of society need to work hard together to preserve Legong Keraton in order to avoid extinction or eroded by modernization that are not aligned with the values of the Balinese tradition.
Legong Keraton as a tradition art needs to be understood and taken into account by using the present life outlook to make it useful cultural wealth for the community. This will provide space for the growth of new art, and also means that future generations do not have to follow or take everything achieved by their predecessors.
Sudewi’s team of examiners are Prof.Ir. Suryo Purnomo, M.A.Sc., Ph.D., Prof. Dr. Kodiran, M.A., Prof. Dr. Djoko Suryo, M.A., Prof. Dr. Timbul Haryono, M.Sc., Prof. Dr. Hermien Kusumayati, S.S.T., S.U., Prof. Dr. Tati Narawati, M. Hum., Prof. Dr. R.M. Soedarsono, Prof. Dr. I Made Bandem, and Prof. Dr. I Wayan Dibia, S.S.T, MA. Finally, Ni Nyoman Sudewi was declared to graduate with honors.