Dance as a Sign: Discovering the Relation Between Dance Movement and Culture
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This article presents examples of the relationship between culture, dance, and the body in the fields of communication (with oneself, the community, God/deity), the social hierarchy, social values, relations between the individual and the group, and relations between genders, from the perspective of the sociology of the dance. The sociological perspective also indicates the various historical, ritual, control, and regulatory roles that traditional and modern dances play in the communities in which they arise and are performed. The second part of the text contains a case study of the Japanese ankoku butoh dance. The author presents the philosophical roots of the dance (e.g., Japanese mythology, Zen Buddhist philosophy) and the creator’s personal experiences (childhood trauma and post-war social situation) as factors that influenced the dance’s development. The example of ankoku butoh illustrates the interrelation between cultural meanings and dance movements.
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