International Symposium
Dances and Rituals

Imre Thormann & Laura Fanouillet © Lilas Nagoya, collectif Hinterland
Imre Thormann & Laura Fanouillet © Lilas Nagoya, collectif Hinterland

30.09 > 02.10.21

CN D Pantin

Can dance be perceived as a ritual?
How are ritualised actions created in dance practices?
What are their qualities, or singularities?
What effects do they produce?
In what way can referring to a rite enlighten, modify or displace dance practices?

This international symposium aims to explore the different way rituals examine the processes of creation, transmission, staging and the execution of dances, whether they are qualified as being contemporary, urban, street, social, ballroom, ceremonial or otherwise. Over and above the similarities or differences that can be identified between ritual and danced actions, if the social, historical and cultural conditions that presided over their production are taken into account, questions arise about what concretely the rituals “are” and “do” once they have been are identified and created by choreographers, teachers, as well as both professional and amateur dancers. Where, when and who does dance transform? How does it become a “power to act”?
At the heart of many anthropological, theological and philosophical debates, the notions of ritual and rite still today refer implicitly to a set of prescribed and repeated actions, which are recognised and acknowledged by a community of people. When perceived either through its symbolic dimensions and functions, or else via the context of its actions or interactions, ritual and its identification remain problematic. The objective of this symposium is not to discuss such theoretical issues nor to deal with the ritual contexts in which dance appears: the point is rather to grasp how and why certain ways of producing and displaying dance are associated with rites, by those who practise and/or watch them.