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Why We DanceA Philosophy of Bodily Becoming$
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Kimerer LaMothe

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231171052

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231171052.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

To Dance Is to Heal

To Dance Is to Heal

(p.137) 6 To Dance Is to Heal
Why We Dance

Kimerer L. LaMothe

Columbia University Press

This chapter argues that to dance is to heal and challenges the materialist idea that humans are bodies whose diseases and injuries can be fixed. We humans are wounded. We can and we do feel pain, every day, along every dimension of our bodily selves, until we die. This “pain,” whether physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual, appears within us as an invasive, aversive sensation. Within a materialist paradigm, pain is generally perceived, not only as a defining fact of human life, but as a problem. Pain is what an individual feels when his machine-body breaks down. Given this understanding, the best response to pain involves mobilizing the power of a mind to correct the malfunction. “We” aim to stop the pain and repair what went wrong. This chapter contends that such perception of pain leaves little room for affirming dancing as a vital art. It explains how dancing itself may be used as a resource for transforming or healing pain.

Keywords:   dance, dancing, pain, materialist paradigm, art, healing

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