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Gender Bending Legong in Bali April 9th

Unique Legong Bapang Saba Performance Starring Didik Nini Thowok at Puri Taman Saba, Blahbatuh Gianyar on Sunday, April 9, 2006.


Arguably among the most recognized works in the Balinese dance repertoire, the Legong was once "owned" by every Bali raja who recruited only the most beautiful pre-pubescent girls to present the refined movements of the Legong accompanied by music performed by the palace gamelan. With the singular exception of the Legong's earlier form - the Nandir, which was performed by young boys, the Legong is today the almost exclusive preserve of very young Balinese female dancers.

Any gender-based cultural expectations are scheduled to be challenged on a fundamental level during a special Legong Bapang Saba performance set for the Puri Taman Saba in Blahbatuh, Gianyar at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 9, 2006. On that evening, key roles in the Legong will be danced not only by older dancers but by one of Indonesia's most famous senior male dancers.

Award winning dancer and choreographer, Didik Nini Thowok, whose real name is Didik Hadi Prayitno, is a 51 year-old male dancer noted for his championing of Indonesia's long tradition of "cross-gender" dance forms; portraying women's role in Sundanese, Cirebon, Balinese, Central Javanese and an entire range of Indonesian traditional mask dances.

Didik Nini ThowokDidik Nini Thowok
On April 9th at the special Legong performance, Didik will perform with a community dance troupe from Sanggar Saba Sari of Blahbatuh and Ni Nyoman Sudewi, a professor and researcher in the Legong who is originally from Bali, but now teaching at Yogyakarta's School of Fine Arts (ISI).

According to Didik, the inspiration for the performance stems from his desire to document the Legong Bapang Gaya Saba and to honor the memory of his mentor and teacher, the late I Gusti Gde Raka Saba.

The special performance, supported by Maharani Records, will be recorded and eventually available to the public on CD, VCD and DVD.

More Information

Don't miss this rare opportunity to witness the seldom seen dance traditions of the Legong Bapang Saba performed by Didik Nini Thowok, a man who has performed and taught Indonesian dances in tens of countries around the world.

Date: Sunday, April 9, 2006

Place: Puri Taman Saba Blahbatuh, Gianyar Telephone ++62-(0361) 298530

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Price: Rp. 150,000 (approximately US$16.30)


ē I Nyoman Windha - telephone ++62-(0)361-461065 or ++62-(0)81338326405 ē Ni Ketut Arini Ė telephone ++62-(0)361-228644 or ++62-(0)8179764272 ē Nunik Anumingsih telephone ++62-(0)81381160697.

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to


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