Another bus ride today. This morning we saw a legong dance and it was best so far. A Legong is danced by two girls, while a Dalang, who is standing aside, sings and speaks the text and comments on it. In this way he introduces the various figures and characters as they are to appear. Sometimes three girls perform, in which case the third (tchondong) is the leader. The principle male dancer is best on island, having succeeded I. Maria. He certainly was good and the whole show so well worthwhile.
The comedy team was a sketch. This team did a Topeng dance, using masks of different facial expressions. One of the two never used a mask but the other changed quite frequently. The material for the stories told by the team is provided by historical romances. Music wonderful. Chow at Kaeta.
This afternoon we saw Barong Kris dance. This dance is a comparatively recent innovation along Greek drama outline. It tells a folk tale, incorporating evil spirits and gods. A combination of a Djaook (?) (a dance by men in masks and wearing gloves fitted with extraordinarily long finger nails) and Barong and Kris dance.
A remarkable exhibition of dancing, costumes and music. Story concerns the adventures of a fantastic, holy animal – the wild Kris dance is at the end by men in a trance who sometimes go berserk. For notes on Legong dance, see Covanubias’ Bali – page 224 on.
Barong notes C – 332.
Topeng notes in C page 246.
Dancer of Legong is Gusti Rake, Mario’s successor. First town Sempioli. Second town Singapolde.