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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Ancient Roots of Dance-therapy in Greece and India

Ancient Greeks and Indians equally honored and enjoyed dance in similar ways. They believed that dance had a divine origin. it was a gift from gods to humans and at the same time a common way of communication. In Greek and Hindu art and literature all the deities and the supernatural beings are very often represented dancing, therefore it is not strange that both civilizations have regarded gods as the first teachers of dance. Dance was an Indispensable component of the rituals of the ancient Greek mysteries and was accompanying every invitation rite. As a result, the artistic rite creates the path, opens the inner human world and is in itself transmuted to a transition, by revealing the inner dimension of the spiritual existence. Dance (χορός) according to Plato, derives from the word joy (χαρά) and springs from the desire of the young people to express sentiments, especially sentiments of joy, through the movement of their bodies. He also considers dance as the evolution of the mimicry of the words through gesticulation. The ancient Greek word orchesis had a broader meaning than the word dance has today and it was closer in meaning to the Sanskritic word Natya that signifies rhythmic movements of every kind, of hands, feet, eyes and of the entire body in general. So much for the ancient Greeks as much for the lndians art possesses great healing abilities, since it can purify both the artist and his audience. It is considered to be spiritual path, a shantana, of self-knowledge and self-consciousness that leads to the Eternal, the Immovable, the Shapeless and, nevertheless, the Moving God the sacred art of dancinq has died in Greece, but it continues to exist in India, where it is transmitted from teacher to discipline until today.