The Senetha is the dance form of the Senethar, known as the Great Dance. It uses the same four disciplines as the Senethar: water-flowing, earth-moving, fire-leaping and wind-blowing. It is not intended for entertainment so much as for traditional, ritual and magical purposes. A Kencyr with Shanir abilities can use the Senetha to channel and focus energy, which is done in Kencyr temples. In addition, some more powerful abilities are channeled through the Senetha, such as Jamethiel Dream-Weaver and Jame's ability to reap souls. In a weaker form of this Shanir ability, the Senetha hypnotizes. Jame uses this ability as the B'tyrr dancer.

The movements of the dance are known as kantirs, as are the forms of the Senethar combat. The movements of the dance have some relation to the shapes traced to form the master runes; in Seeker's Mask, Jame constructs a master rune from the "more esoteric kantirs" of the Senetha.[1] Here, and in several other places, Jame dances the Senetha only in her mind, without using her body. She does similarly when she dances for King Sellik XXI, the Archiem of Skyrr, and Harr sen Tenko to save the Res aB'tyrr in God Stalk.[2]


When Jame dances the Senetha in Tai-tastigon, as the B'tyrr, she wears a costume Kithra made her. She recounts that she once wore a similar costume in the Master's House, implying that this costume was true to the traditional costume of a Senetha dancer. A Senetha dancer is close-fitting and made of tight black cloth and some leather; it features "much skin showing in unexpected places" in the form of slashes; the sleeves are full.[3][4][5] Women dancing the Senetha are always masked, in the Kencyr tradition.[6]


  1. Seeker's Mask, "Part II: Gothregor", V — "What she needed was a certain master rune; but no one could carry any of them for long in memory and she didn't have the Book Bound in Pale Leather for reference. She thought, though, that given its nature she might be able to reconstruct this one from the Senetha's more esoteric kantirs."
  2. God Stalk, Book III: Shroud of Days, "Chapter 12: A Flame Rising"
  3. God Stalk, Book II: Crown of Nights, "Chapter 7: The Feast of Fools" — "The costume… what a time they had had making it. Tight black cloth, some leather, much skin showing in unexpected places… how pleased Kithra had been with it in the end, and how shocked the widow was. Jame hardly knew what to make of it herself except that, for what she did, nothing else would serve. And she had worn something like it before."
  4. Dark of the Moon, "Chapter 13: Converging Paths" — "They were offering her something. A garment. It seemed to be nothing but spun shadows, weightless in her hands, but she thought she remembered how to put it on. There. Except for its full sleeves, it clung to her like a shadow, at the same time leaving bare much skin in unexpected places."
  5. To Ride a Rathorn, "Chapter XV: Back to the Soulscape", II — "Her clothes had also changed to the close-fitting costume of a Senetha dancer with its oddly placed slashes."
  6. God Stalk, Book II: Crown of Nights, "Chapter 6: Water Flow, Fire Leap" — "the thought stopped her as though she had run into a wall: one does not dance the Senetha barefaced in public. Someone had told her that emphatically, many times."