High on dance

By Jesse DhurLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

In Ancient Greece in honour of Dionysus, traditional possession cults or techno clubs of the modern age: ecstatic dancing is a phenomenon transcending space and time, indispensable in many of today's milieus. Uninhibited dancers are especially taken with the feeling of freedom and the experience of self-transcendence.

Bathing in the rhythmic sounds of acoustic or electronic music and moving limbs in frenzied and intricate ways, letting go of control and releasing the inner child: ecstatic dancing is one of the strangest, yet at the same time most fascinating and redemptive forms of movement that humans can produce with their bodies and in the company of others. In Luxembourg, too, more people are becoming aware of the potential of trance-like dancing. Practices around this wild fidgeting and whirling have been appreciated for centuries in distinct cultural areas.

According to tradition, the ancient Greeks were not only great philosophers, but also knew how to dance frenetically. A life devoted exclusively to the use and maturation of reason, they realised, was in danger of dehydration and imbalance. They therefore compensated for the rational aspect of human nature, embodied by their god Apollo, with regular festivals in honour of Dionysus, at which wineskins were emptied, loud music was played – and ecstatic dancing was performed.

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