By Joan Dexter Blackmer
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Extra info for Acrobats of the Gods: Dance and Transformation (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts, 39)
Page 36 Isadora Duncan, by Abraham Walkowitz. Duncan dancers in the 1930s. Page 37 The new dance was a search for more natural movement. In 1905, Duncan wrote: The true dance is appropriate to the most beautiful human form; the false dance is the opposite of this definitionthat is, that movement which conforms to a deformed human body. First, draw me the form of a woman as it is in Nature, and now draw me the form of a woman in a corset and the satin slippers used by [ballet] dancers. To the first all the rhythmic movements that run through Nature would be possible.
The stage, the altar, the dance studio, are sacred spaces, and the dancing time, the learning time, is time out of our time. Each class is a physical meditation. One ballet teacher crosses herself before starting each class, and everyone finishes with a reverence; first a bow to her own ballet master's photograph and then a bow to the crucifix in the opposite corner of the studio. These can be called "nothing but" gestures, yet often both student and teacher feel a numinous surge at the ritual.
10 A chronic schizophrenic, well aware of her needs, once asked me to work with her in movement. Not understanding the depth of her physical deprivation, I started at too advanced a level, suggesting she move her fingers to become more aware of them. She later told me she had been so confused that she had to withdraw into a catatonic state. The process was too complicated for her. Subsequently, with her therapist, it was regression to the state of infancy, being held closely as a babe, which took her to the place where healing could begin.
Acrobats of the Gods: Dance and Transformation (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts, 39) by Joan Dexter Blackmer