Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Types of Sacred Dance Part 1 - Ritual Dance

I could have done this little series of posts in one long epic portion but I since I'm trying this daily posting thing, I'm trying to parcel things out into smaller chunks and also so I can give each one more thought.

The term Sacred Dance is really broad and in order to better express myself here and in my own head I've come up with three categories for Sacred Dance.

Category 1. - Ritual Dance

Definition: Dance that is used as a portion of a larger ritual or as a ritual in it's entirety.

I use this type of dance a lot in my personal practice since as a solitary practitioner I am hesitant to do any sort of trance dance rituals alone, also I don't often have a lot of space to feel safe moving without any conscious thought about it. The most disruptive thing to the trance experience I referenced in my previous post was almost falling on my face or crashing into something.

Ritual dance tends to have a more specific vocabulary of movements, they are deliberate and meant to invoke words and attitudes. I don't think that the movements have to replace the words, if words either spoken, chanted, or sung should compliment each other.

This vocabulary doesn't have to be specifically codified but I certianly think that it would be helpful for the dancer at least for specific gesures of welcoming, invoking, ect. I will discuss my own movement vocabulary in future posts.
One type of ritual dance that I used could be called a sort of moving mediation. Reciting a passage or a hymn and contemplating it's meaning and moving my self to reflect it. I personally find this a very powerful and moving experience. This could also be done with someone else speaking or using a recording but I find that speaking and moving at the same time is a more powerful experience.

I have also used this type of dance as a type of expression in a ritual working, to get into the right frame of mind and attitude before the core of the working is preformed.

Tomorrow, I will talk about an example of this type of dance before moving onto the next category.



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