Thursday, January 12, 2012

Types of Sacred Dance Part 3 - Demonstrative/Devotional Dance

You would think after a long day at work I'd be too tired to look forward to posting, but really I am finding sitting down at my laptop to post part 3 of 3 on my Types of Sacred Dance segment relaxing.

Category 3. Demonstrative/Devotional Dance

Definition: A dance preformed for devotional exercise for a specific entity or to demonstrate through dance a myth, sacred principle, divine being, or mystery.

This is actually the newest of my three categories, I defined it for the first time only last year. This is the kind of dance that is perhaps the most versatile, and may one day be separated between Demonstrative and Devotional but right now I sort of feel still that there is enough of an overlap that being one and the same category is ok. For example, a dance that is used to visually interpret a divine being could be used demonstratively to portray it to an audience, as a devotional dance to that being, or if you're really daring, both at the same time. The actual dance looks identical all three ways the only difference is intent.

In relation to the other categories, it can look more formalized like a ritual dance, or in a more devotional aspect take on elements of trance dance if through the devotional act that state is achieved. Which is probably why for so long I didn't really distinguish it from the other two but it really does need to be separate. What made me realize this was when I was thinking of sacred dance outside of traditionally sacred settings, like on the stage at an event or as the event itself. Not to say that be being out of a specifically 'sacred place' or ritual there's anything less to it. That which is sacred can be anywhere and everywhere, but I think that by being outside of a ritual or explicitly sacred venue the focus and emphasis can change because you are reaching out to an audience who may have different views, religions, backgrounds, ect, and that makes the goal of the dance not just to visually interpret but also to  help them in some small way experience what you're showing them, be it demonstration or devotion.

That's all for tonight, I've run out of steam and sleep is fed up waiting for me to succumb.



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