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Dancing around the Fire

Author(s): Jakub Żmidziński
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Stowarzyszenie Czasu Kultury
Keywords: Modern attempts to experience the sacrum; ritual as a theatre in which the participants are both viewers and artists; Dance; the most important element of many rituals; disappearance of rituals in the modern world;

Summary/Abstract: Our attempts to find a connection with the indescribable force of the sacrum which surpasses the limits of human existence continues to obsess us in the modern world, even though its completely insensitive structure seems to contradict this. Rituals which used to be very common and served the purpose of enabling metaphysical experience seem to have disappeared or been irretrievably merged with the arrangements of everyday life. What remains are the thoughtless routines that seem to organise the mundane chaos. Rituals resemble a form of theatre: a performance is held, but without a defined stage. Their participants become both viewers and artists who are trying to unite with the Inexpressible Harmony. The plot consists of a mythical tale about the beginnings of the world, the gods who influence human fate and the continuously changing existence of mankind. The initial fear of the mystery gradually changes into ecstatic joy which is caused by the manifestation of Divine Forces. Dance as “the only form of expression which is perfectly balanced and in which the artists concurrently become the creation of their art” may be thought of as the most important element of particular rituals. Movement and physical expression lead the mind into a desired trance. Spontaneous, childlike behaviour unites with characteristic and ongoing sombreness. The scenery, with its natural beauty, intensifies the atmosphere of the ritual. The time of the festival can quietly flow by in the sacred site. But the “sacred dance around the fire, passed on from generation to generation” is slowly becoming extinct...

  • Issue Year: 2004
  • Issue No: 02-03
  • Page Range: 33-41
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Polish