ISSN: 20517068
First published in 2014
3 issues per volume
Volume 1 Issue 1
Cover Date: January 2014
Transformation: An ecokinetic approach to the study of ritual dance
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Authors:  Kimerer Lamothe 
DOI: 10.1386/dmas.1.1.57_1

dance,religion,transformation,ritual,bodily becoming,ecokinetic approach

People move their bodily selves. Something happens. Those present, whether dancing or watching, are different than they were before. They perceive that difference in terms given by their religious tradition as healing or reconciliation; as communion with spirits or a revelation from ‘God’. Yet despite the frequency with which such transformations occur in human culture, they are notoriously difficult for scholars in either dance studies or religious studies to explain. This article introduces an ‘ecokinetic’ approach to studying transformation that reveals how and why bodily movement is effective in catalysing the kinds of experiences that participants claim occur. This approach to the study of religion and dance guides scholars to pay attention to patterns of bodily movement made by participants; imaginatively recreate the kinetic experience of making those movements; and discern the trajectories of thinking, feeling, and acting that these movement patterns open in those who perform them.
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