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Two young dancers in the temple Puri Ubud, on the island of Bali, Indonesia. The girls are part of a dance troupe performing the classic and most graceful of Balinese dances, the Legong. The dance dramatizes the story of a young maiden who is taken captive by a king until she is rescued by her brother.

It is a great privilege for a girl, usually no older than 12 or 13, to be chosen for this role, which requires extraordinary grace, concentration and body control. The dance is usually accompanied by a 20 to 30 person orchestra, or gamelan. The gamelon instruments include large and small gongs, xylophones, drums and frequently a zither-like instrument called a celempung. The girls are wearing identical gold-leaf brocade dresses and crowns adorned with frangipani flowers.

Balinese Legong Dancers (Indonesia) by Raymond Paynter
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