By Kimerer LaMothe

Within highbrow paradigms that privilege brain over subject, dance has lengthy seemed as a marginal, by-product, or primitive artwork. Drawing help from theorists and artists who embody subject as dynamic and agential, this ebook bargains a visionary definition of dance that illuminates its constitutive paintings within the ongoing evolution of human folks.

Why We Dance introduces a philosophy of physically changing into that posits physically stream because the resource and telos of human lifestyles. inside this philosophy, dance seems as an task that people advanced to do because the permitting in their most sensible physically changing into. Weaving theoretical mirrored image with bills of lived event, this booklet positions dance as a catalyst within the improvement of human attention, compassion, ritual proclivity, and ecological adaptability. Aligning with developments in new materialism, impact conception, and feminist philosophy, in addition to advances in dance and spiritual reports, this paintings unearths the very important function dance can play in reversing the trajectory of ecological self-destruction alongside which human civilization is racing.

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The idea that matter is real cannot explain itself. It cannot explain how humans know that matter is real. 24 Consciousness has no mass or substance that can be broken into analyzable pieces. Its movements are ferociously 23 To Dance Is to Matter difficult to measure. Scientists can document the effects that a thought or sensation has on blood flow to certain areas of the brain, but have yet to catch the thought or explain why or how it emerges. Until recently, in the effort to solve this problem, scientists have redoubled their commitment to materialist methods, treating the brain as a biological system.

As I open and twist again, a new vitality pulses through me. More impulses to move pop into my sensory awareness, feeling like an itch that longs for a scratch or a tickle seeking touch. This leg is not (just) a thing! It is an urge to point and flex, bend and straighten, jump, skip and leap. This arm is not (merely) an object! It is a longing to reach and curl, swing and swat. This torso is not (simply) a congealed mass! It is a desire to explode in sheets of effort that ripple through my abdominal wall as I pull myself off the ground, together in a ball, and rocket 26 To Dance Is to Matter upward.

We isolate variables that we can manage and define the terms of a causality that we can stage and repeat. We ask: what is the effect of x on y? We set up a control case. We induce the relationship to occur again and again, making adjustments until our results converge—because they must. Because we believe they will. Because matter is real. Because reality abides by laws that we can apprehend—even if we have no idea of what “it” is. So we crunch the data and make generalizations that we presume will hold for similar instances across time and space.

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