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by Archaeology Newsroom

Dance and Healing in Ancient Greece

Starting from the identification of the healing functions of art, according to the ancient Greek writers, this article attempts to present the various views on the ancient dance that lead to a revaluation of its modern merit and usefulness. It is therefore argued that the therapeutic effect of the dance depends both on the biological and the physical participation of the dancer in its performance. These components are present mainly in the Dionysiac forms of the ancient Greek dance, the tragic dance in particular, where a paradoxical relation of cosmic harmony and wild expressiveness coexists with the exhilarating identification of the spectator with the dance performer. In the tragic dance of the Classical Greek theatre the ecstasy and the wild passion encounter the reasoning and harmony of the geometric arrangement and motion of dance.

Another objective of this article is to locate and identify the traces of the Dionysiac culture in the modern world. Therefore, the traditional dances are studied from the theatrical and sociological aspect as well as the folk feasts and events throughout the year, which envelop whatever has survived from Dionysos and his cult until today.