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The sound of
gamelan melodies flashing

From morning
to night non stop

the dancer's movements

shuffling, stepping, poising...

(Taksu: Never Ending Art Creativity)

Click here to go to Dances

Click here to listen a gamelan sample

(Taksu: Never Ending Art Creativity)




















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Balinese dance is unique, dynamic, and the movement is very complex. When dancing, a dancer has to be able to exercize all of her body's parts from head to toe. The most important thing she needs to remember is she has to always bend her knees, her back, and keeps her shoulders wide open.

Here are some examples of the movements.

Examples of the leg movements 

Tampak sirang pada means foot angled to each    other.
Ngumbang basically means to walk   
means shaky walking
Nyeregseg means to shift the feet fast
Tayong demang means to walk with hands on the hip

Examples of the hand movements

Luk nagasatru
means to twist hands inward
Nepuk kampuh means hand touches the attire on the chest
Ngaweh means to wave the hands
Mungkah lawang means the hand movements at the very beginning of a dance that signals the dance is  started
Nabdab gelung means hand touches the headdress

Examples of the finger movements

Jeriring means trembling the fingers
Manganjali means both hands come together
Ngutek means to point repeatedly
Nuding means to point
Nyempurit means thumb comes to the middle finger

Examples of the body movements

Ngotag dada means to shak the chest
Ngotag pinggang means to shake the waist
Ngotag pala means to shake the shoulders
Lelok means to bend the body right and left Neregah  means to move the body forward

Examples of the neck movement

Ngepik means to shake the neck right and left without twisting it
Ngelidu means to look at right and left
Nyulengek means to look up
Ngetget means to look down
Kidang but muring means to shake the neck

The uniqueness about Balinese dance that distinguishes it from others is in the eye movement or seledet. The eyes are glanced right and/or left accompanied by the chin. While doing this, the eyes must be wide opened and must not be blinked.

Besides the movement of the entire body, facial expression is also very crucial.  It shows the character of the dance; happy, angry, sad, shocked, love, etc. According to Ni Ketut Reneng, a dance is a subtle combination of the movements of feeling, the body and the spirit.


Parts of the material are taken from Nyoman Djayus, B.A., Teori Tari Bali, Denpasar, Bali: C.V. Sumber Mas Bali, 1980.

Click here for Indonesian version