When dance socializes
"When dance socializes” is a collection of short essays, on the topic of dancing mad- ness. There are many questions I have with this work, yet the central question is dedicated to the socio-political aspect and power of dance to gather likeminded and demonstrate its nature and meaning that is beyond aesthetic – the survival of what makes us human. “When dance socializes” are pieces of writing about dance as a phenomenon that exposes historical acts of massive dancing rituals, as spontaneous phenomena as well as happenings. It is a reference to our dancing cultures of the past, in the European context, which didn’t dance for the sake of the arts and entertainment but for the sake of personal healing in sense of re-creative and celebrating demonstrations.
As a project in the intersection between choreography, anthropology and sociology “When dance socializes” aims to become a publication, which translates the content into a public action. In the attempt to translate writing into a kind of choreography, “When dance socializes” aims to engage its readers with forms of dancing that re-create the cultural sense and meaning of dancing, especially where dance is not a form of artistic aesthetics but a public activity that acts.
The writing I am sharing is based on the extensive essay “Hard times require furious dancing” that I have written in 2015, commissioned by Cornelia Böhnisch from Tanzwut Symposium/ Toihaus Theatre Salzburg. In this essay I’m bridging rave culture with dancing mania of the Middle Ages as two examples of mas- sive dancing rituals with spiritual and cultural healing purposes, whose presence in our history has significant socio-political relevance.
Like in the collection of poems by the American writer Alice Walker, Hard times require furious dancing, which title I have borrowed for the original essay, Walker creates poetry in response to joy and sorrow, both personal and global. Situations that come in front in her poetry are somewhat critical. As the writer confronts personal and collective challenges we have a sense of her sorrow, war, environmental devastation, rejection, followed by greed, poverty, home, love and joy of individuality. Walker suggests that there is a strong relationship between the sense of hardship and dancing – the harder the times are, the furious the dancing is.