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A Buddhist's approach to choreography as spiritual practice

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This article reveals the dynamics involved in approaching choreography as an integrated method within Buddhist spiritual practice. It reflects on the author's history and choreographic work and defines key themes for thinking about spiritual practice within it. Important Buddhist concepts are identified and their role within the choreographic domain explored. In reflecting on two formative choreographic works, the role of intuition is revealed, alongside a focus on the ground-of-being as an orientation and view on life and a key element in keeping spiritual commitment alive. This further shapes the choreographic work integrating the spiritual values that support this view. Comparing Heidegger's 'meditative thinking' and Buddhist mindfulness practice, a synergy emerges that is reinforced by considering gelasen-heit and alethia alongside the meditative dynamics of samatha and vipassana. This comparison underlines Heidegger's sympathy with spirituality and extends the bridge between eastern and western thinking.
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Keywords: Buddhism; choreography; dance; meditation; ontology; spiritual practice

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Roehampton University

Publication date: August 30, 2012

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  • This journal focuses on the relationship between dance and somatic practices, and the influence of this body of practice on the wider performing arts. The journal will be aimed at scholars and artists, providing a space for practitioners and theorists to debate the work, to consider the impact and influence of the work on performance, the interventions that somatic practices can have on other disciplines and the implications for research and teaching.
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