Dancing Culture Religion

Dancing Culture Religion

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Provocative insights into the nature of dancing as inseparable from human vitality and distinctiveness emerge from this spiraling study of specific cultural dance traditions brought into conversation with various philosophical/theoretical perspectives centering on the topics: movement, gesture, play, masking, ritual, seduction, performance, religion; each the subject of engaging innovative analysis. The author draws on experience as dancer and academic to address contemporary issues such as gender identity development and plasticity and acuity throughout the lifespan.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 250 pages
  • 148 x 224 x 20mm | 362.87g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739174738
  • 9780739174739
  • 2,220,309

Review quote

In close personal touch with his subject, Sam Gill takes the reader on a global journey through dance and religion guided by philosophy, ethnology, and intuition. His book reveals how the body has its own truth that cannot be read or spoken, only danced. -- Sondra Fraleigh, State University of New York, College at Brockport It is gratifying to see a senior scholar of religion write with such energy and enthusiasm for the philosophical and cultural significance of dancing. Gill's movement-based, ontogenetic 'conversion' to dance provides a tantalizing, playful glimpse of a vibrant theoretical niche that the art-form might eventually come to fill within the field of religious studies. -- Sally Ann Ness, University of California, Riverside Sam Gill leads us in a playful and provocative dance, weaving gracefully between the oft-estranged partners of Western "mind" and "body" to draw out tantalizing, seductive glimpses of person moving, engaging-dancing-with the world. Dancing Culture Religion is a work long overdue that promises to move discussion in our field in new and exciting directions. -- Nikki Bado, Iowa State University Pairing his experience of dance traditions from around the world with his readings of select philosophical texts, Gill sets in motion a provocative whirl of ideas that demonstrates what the early American modern dancers also knew: the practice of dancing proves a potent catalyst for thinking about religion. -- Kimerer L. LaMothe, author of Nietzsche's Dancers: Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and the Revaluation of Christian Values Perhaps best known as a scholar of Native American religions, Gill (Univ. of Colorado at Boulder) expands his investigations of rituals and myths to include dancing and its significance for religious studies. His research travels have taken him to a wider world from Bali to Mali and beyond. In his new book, filled with philosophical and phenomenological insights, Gill engages his readers both experientially and in the experience(s) of dancing. He emphasizes activity over spectatorship by using the term dancing instead of dance in his title and from page one throughout all six chapters. He expands the boundaries of ritual study from body and gestures to include movement, rhythm, and the dance-induced experience of trance. The innovative style of his text is balanced by scholarly acumen; however, like others who span the great divide between the intellectual and the experiential dimensions of religion, he offers a selective bibliography. Gill's work suggests an exciting new methodology. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above CHOICE [T]he appearance of religious studies scholar Sam Gill's new book, Dancing Culture Religion, comes as one of the first serious attempts to incorporate dance research into the study of religion and to incorporate the use of dance and movement research in the study of human behavior...The importance of this book for dance scholars is that it engages with dance from outside the field, and Gill amply demonstrates this with his engagement with his own field of religion and the multiple ways in which dance intersects with religious practices, even embodying them. Asian Ethnology Gill's text is a thoughtful and thought-provoking study of the dancing of dance. The text in eminently readable with each chapter opening and closing with mini-case studies linked to the subject of the chapter. These case-studies act to provide examples for Gill's arguments as well as strengthening them. Equally, the author is very present in the text, drawing on his previous ethnographic work, his years of dancing and teaching dance, which makes for a very enjoyable read. Journal of the American Academy of Religion In Dancing, Culture, Religion , Sam Gill weaves together ethnographic and historical accounts, personal experience and theoretical discussions of dance traditions in order to develop and articulate an approach to the comparative study of dance that has substantial implications for not only dance theorists and dancers, but also scholars of religion and culture, philosophy and the humanities more broadly. Dance, Movement & Spiritualities [T]his welcome and stimulating volume...is tightly packed with both descriptive and theoretical material and incisive insights...The book is equally useful as a handbook and a monograph. I have gone back and read several sections repeatedly. Numen: International Review for the History of Religions
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About Sam Gill

Sam Gill is professor of religious studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
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Table of contents

Chapter 1: Moving Chapter 2: Gesturing Chapter 3: Self-Othering Chapter 4: Playing chapter 5: Seducing Chapter 6: Dancing
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