Dancing on the Edge Urgent artistic dialogues with the middle east

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Dance and Religion

Nasr Abu Zayd, Eva van Schaik, Shura Lipovsky

How do the three great religions in the Middle East (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) consider dance? Different interpretations throughout the centuries have indicated that there is no absolute view about dance in any of the religions. It would be more accurate to speak of a broad range of views, from outright restrictions to encouragement of dance as a spiritual act. A number of views will be brought forward in this discussion, using historical examples and analyses of the motivations behind different religious policies throughout the years. Speakers: Nasr Abu Zayd (Egypt) – specialist in the study of the Koran and mystic philosophy (Amsterdam discussion only); Eva van Schaik – author, journalist and dance historian; Shura Lipovsky – specialist in Jewish music and dance traditions.