Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Types of Sacred Dance Part 2 - Trance Dance

Alright, now it's time to jump back on the horse and soldier on.

So last time I spoke about ritual dance, today it's time for trance dances.

Category 2. Trance Dance

Definition: Dance that is used to create a trance state, where conscious thought is non-existent, to achieve various ends.

I admit 'various ends' is pretty vague for use in a definition but really to list all the options that I can think of, and that list would be by no means definitive, would be too long for a simple definition. The ends that I can think of are, blessing, union with the divine, experience of some greater force or power, communion with some sort of ruling spirit, and those are just the things that flew off the top of my head.

Trance dance is often different than other forms of dance in that it is not about the enjoyment of the observer, or being pleasing to the eye, in that there is any sort of focus on grace and shape, and pretty choreography. It's about the dancer focusing almost completely on the interior or abstract realms in order to achieve the trance state and the goal there of. There are exceptions, when I can find it again I want to discuss a quote from one of my old text books that described a mystic experience had by a dance while preforming a well practiced choreography.

There are a number of trance dance traditions that I could get into but I would like to go over them individually in more detail rather than slapping down a few broad strokes and generalizations to further illustrate my point as to describing trance dances.

It's hard to find something to say about a dance where the emphasis is on experience both for the individual but also in some cases the group. More to come on this topic in the future I promise.



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