The Origins of Dance
Updated: Nov 28, 2021
Lets go back to the roots...
In western society, we have primally used dance to entertain, to let loose at parties, and to prove our social status. The use of dance, just like most things, has been dictated by the money that has been funding it. So whether that be Hollywood, the artistic elites, or clubs and social circles, I think we can all agree that there are large capitalistic agendas that have deeply influenced the direction in which dance has gone. Now, is this a bad thing? Well, I'm not necessarily saying that, however, I do think that it's important that we look at how and why we are moving our bodies in the way that we are. Especially if our movement is constricting or negatively affecting us.
In order to understand dance and its purposes, let's go back to how it started. The first historical data we have of humans dancing comes from 9 thousand-year-old cave paintings in India. The paintings show dance happening in religious and spiritual ceremonies for ritual. The ecstasy of movement was used in order to connect humans to the Gods and Spiritual Forces beyond themselves. Now, my take is that because dance is a form of communication that doesn't require thought, movement acted as a way in which people could go beyond the limits of their mind to connect to the spiritual realms.
After briefly taking in some of the earliest accounts of dance, and where we are now, I think it's fair to say that because of the push of capitalism both the craft and our physical capabilities have probably been refined, however, I think its also fair to say that we have lost quite a bit of the spiritual significance of movement and are in a place where we need to reclaim it.
My workshop coming this Saturday, The Primal Body, aims to be a bridge between the spiritual origins of movement and the modern advancements of our physical capability. We will dive into the ecstasy of movement and the spiritual connections it can bring us while not losing any of our articulate expression and technical nuance we have gained.
Let's bring the origins of dance into the new era. Join me this Saturday, May 29th from 9-10:30 am PDT for The Primal Body Workshop.