Dance is the most physical of the arts and, with no words involved, it is also one of the most abstract. Martha Graham called it “the hidden language of the soul . . . The body says what words cannot.”
Dance can create a close connection between couples or a communal effect (as in dancing the hora at a Jewish wedding). It can also be a very personal expression.
For “whirling dervishes” and some other religious groups, dance is used to induce a spiritual state. A similar effect has been described with rave where, with pulsing rhythm, flashing lights, and being in motion with the crowd, some experience things they describe as transforming and transcendent.
Gabrielle Roth describes movement as “both my medicine and my meditation”.
…..“We dance . . .
. … ….to disappear in something bigger . . .
.. . .….to fall in love with the spirit in all things.”
As the art of bodies in motion, dance has been used as a metaphor for the coordinated natural motions at all levels in the cosmos. Karl Peters used a similar image in his book “Dancing with the Sacred”, where a naturalist religious sense could be seen in acting with no goal or purpose but the dance itself.