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Joan Frosch1 BELIEF SYSTEM = DANCE College of Fine Arts.

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Presentation on theme: "Joan Frosch1 BELIEF SYSTEM = DANCE College of Fine Arts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Joan Frosch1 BELIEF SYSTEM = DANCE College of Fine Arts

2 Joan Frosch2 Introduction Who,what why,where, when and how people dance is often determined by attitudes toward the body. Religious beliefs can and do shape attitudes toward the body. Thus, belief systems can be said to control, in large measure, how people think about and use dance.

3 Joan Frosch3 SACRED VS. SECULAR Where dance is Sacred (body embraced) Where dance is Secular (body denied). Religious beliefs convey a society’s highest values. Dance, as an essential form of communication can be used as a SACRED form of communication—one in which gods are embodied and brought to “Life.” People can come to PERSONALLY KNOW the SACRED through the process of dance.

4 Joan Frosch4 RELIGIOUS DANCE TRADITIONS: YORUBA In Yoruba, as in West African traditional cultures in general, dance is a bridge to the spirit world. Orishas—Yoruba gods representing deified ancestors or personified natural forces-can be known through dance as they ”mount” or possess a dancer.

5 Joan Frosch5 RELIGIOUS DANCE TRADITIONS: HINDU The Hindu religion, over 2000 years old, has strong examples of devotional dance. For example, Bharata Natyam is a highly codified dance which shows religion, dance and theater as part of ONE piece in traditional Indian life. BN traces its roots to the devotional dances of Hindu temples and tells the stories of Hindu culture as outlined in the Mahabharata.

6 Joan Frosch6 RELIGIOUS DANCE TRADITONS: JUDEO CHRISTIAN The Judeo-Christian world demonstrates significant ambivalence on the subject of dance. No doubt related to the ambivalence, if not denial, of the body incorporated into many parts of this tradition. Early Christians sought hard to distinguish themselves from “pagans” who danced in religious ceremonies.

7 Joan Frosch7 SECULAR DANCE Dance is a force. Where religions did not allow it within ceremonies, local dance traditions—formerly associated with worship—sought survival as folk or national dances. The Maypole, for example, survived as a children’s dance/game.

8 Joan Frosch8 What This Means in TODAY’S WORLD As religions continue to spread throughout the world, the attitudes towards the body move with them. These attitudes are, in turn, affected by the cultures with which they interface. Therefore, the dance may become secularized ( or, worse yet, disdained) or become reinvigorated as a way to know the spirit.

9 Joan Frosch9 DEFINITIONS TO REMEMBER Liturgy. A sacred rite, particularly the rite of the Eucharist in Christian religions. Ritual.A prescribed or customary way of doing something, particularly associated with conducting religious ceremony. Oriki.Yoruba songs of praise directed to specific deities

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