Danses et rituels

Collective work under the direction of Laura Fléty

Can dance be read as a ritual? How can ritualized acts be danced? What are the effects of these ritual gestures on dancers and spectators? This collection of essays examines the multiple relations between dance and rituals, in the wake of the international conference organized by the CN D in 2021, based on case studies from various choreographic cultures and geographical areas.

The first part looks into the invention of “preparatory rituals” and the ritualization of gestures in the search for physical states appropriate to dance. Then the book delves into choreographic performances that can be qualified as “almost ritual”, a notion which allows contributors to analyze the porosity between dance and rituals. The third part looks at dance as a ritual which materializes the link between the visible and the unseen, the human and non-human. Finally, the book sheds light on the ways dance samples or stages rituals with a political perspective, within marginalized collectives or to take a stand against the dominant order. Overall, the book considers all the many contrasted ways in which rituals are involved in dance, in creative processes, in the transmission, staging or execution of dance pieces.