Tytuł: The role and significance of dance in the Dionysian Mysteries
- Christina Papaioannou, Georgios Lykesas
- Studies in Physical Culture and Tourism
- Strona początkowa:
- Strona końcowa:
- Słowa kluczowe:
- dance, cult of Dionysus, Dionysian Mysteries, ancient Greece
The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of dance in the Dionysian cult of Classical Greece
and, in particular, the significance of dance as a means of mental elevation in the Dionysian Mysteries.
In classical times, the religious sentiment acted as a trigger for dancing. The function of dance was
essential during the Dionysian Mysteries, and dance was not a series of simple movement of the legs,
arms and body. It was an explosion of mental impulsions - a mental response to a variety of religious
sentiments. Thus, dance served as a means of expressing mental states and as a sign of religious faith
and devotion through rhythmic movements. In the Dionysian cult, the honor and the rendering of
respect to God was expressed in joyful dances, while the believers thought that they acquired healing
properties through sacred fury, lawlessness and abolition of their moral inhibitions. With the help of
orgiastic dances, the initiate was becoming "en-theos" (Greek: ένθεος, inspired, theopneustic), i.e.
reaching a state of ecstasy and thus mental release. Dance played an important role in the Dionysian
Mysteries and held a prominent position in the initiation of the believers; people felt completed and
were mentally and physically perfected, purified and united with the Divine, gaining spiritual freedom
and mental elevation.