The Institute of Southeast Asian Arts started the year of 2022 in a collaboration with NAFA’s Dance Programme for the Dance Techniques 3A (Asian Dance and Movement) module. The weekly workshop on Balinese Legong spans over a period of 13 weeks and includes an overview of basic movements from Legong Dance as well as an introductory lecture on Balinese culture, performing arts, and customs.
Usually performed exclusively by female dancers the Legong dance features complex movements of the fingers, feet, and facial expressions. Normally accompanied by traditional Gamelan music, historical records believe the legong dance originated in 19th Century Bali and was mainly performed as entertainment for the Royal court. Its forms and presentations have since evolved into the modern rendition which is widely regarded as a visual icon of Balinese performing arts.
The Dance Techniques 3A module was taught by two instructors from Singapore-based Sanggar Eka Suwara Santhi and joined by 32 students from year 3 of Diploma of Dance. During this workshop, the students also got the opportunity to try on traditional Balinese dance costumes, which elaborate details are known to play a crucial part in the forms and posture of Legong performers. At the conclusion of this workshop, the students were divided into smaller groups and showcased a short 5-minute performance to a virtual audience.