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Free Content Dancer – Dance – Spirituality: A phenomenological exploration of Bharatha Natyam and Contact Improvisation

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This article explores the intersections between the dancer, forms of dance and emergent spiritual experience. It articulates different kinds of dancing experiences that are co-created while practicing two forms of dance: Bharatha Natyam (a classical Indian dance) and Contact Improvisation. Inquiry into the phenomenology of dancing reveals commonalities in the emerging spiritual experience, while also recognizing their distinctive techniques and artistic forms. The exploration suggests that the dance, dancer and emerging spiritual experience co-create each other within the process of dancing irrespective of its form. This exploration and inquiry also offers a descriptive language for what is spirituality in dance.

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Keywords: Bharatha Natyam; Contact Improvisation; attunement; emergent process; resonance; spirituality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Independent performance artist and Psychotherapist, Maryland 2: California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco

Publication date: 01 January 2014

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  • Research into spirituality receives comparatively little attention in western dance practices but Dance, Movement & Spiritualities provides a platform for those practitioners and researchers who are actively and creatively working with spirituality at the centre of their practice/research. Contributions are invited from across disciplines.
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