Balinese dances are a very ancient dance tradition that is a part of the religious and artistic expression among the Balinese people, native to Bali island, Indonesia. Balinese dance is dynamic, angular and intensely expressive. The Balinese dancers express the story of dance-drama through the whole bodily gestures; fingers, hands and body gestures to head and eyes movements. The lifestyles of Balinese people is expressed in their dance.
Not only do we learn about the Balinese religion from their dance creations but also we can come to understand the flow of cultural events and activities that belong to everyday life. We can discover Balinese attitudes, how they look at nature, and how they regard their fauna and flora. Bali dancers learn the craft as children from their mothers as soon as they are born, in the womb they are played the Balinese music and are taught to dance with their hands before they can walk. Official training as a Bali dancer starts as young as 7th.
In Balinese dance the movement is closely associated with the rhythms produced by the gamelan, a musical ensemble specific to Java and Bali. Multiple levels of articulations in the face, eyes, hands, arms, hips, and feet are coordinated to reflect layers of percussive sounds. The very essence of the Balinese culture is dance and drama,which is performed during temple festivals and in ceremonies.
The dances performed in hotels is a small fraction of what Balinese dance has to offer.Balinese dance cannot be separated from religion. Even the dances for the tourists are preceded by many dancers praying at their family shrine for taksu (inspiration) from the Gods.