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Tytuł: The role and significance of dance in the Dionysian Mysteries

Autor:
Christina Papaioannou, Georgios Lykesas
Język:
EN
Czasopismo:
Studies in Physical Culture and Tourism
Rok:
2012
Tom:
19
Numer:
2
Strona początkowa:
68
Strona końcowa:
72
ISSN:
0867-1079
Słowa kluczowe:
dance, cult of Dionysus, Dionysian Mysteries, ancient Greece
Czytaj

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.