This article is the first of a diptych, to discuss a particular approach to dancing with the spirit world, from a contemporary shamanic perspective as taught by the Scandinavian Center for Shamanic Studies. It emerges from my participation in the Spirit Dance Workshop from June 24-29, 2012 in Sweden with Jonathan Horwitz and Zara Waldebäck, which in turn led to interviewing them over Skype on August 9, 2016. After methodological reflections on source-justification, personal immersion and embodied enquiry, this article introduces the concept of spirits in (this) shamanic context and discusses the possibility and etiquette of relating with other-than-human-beings through dance. It contemplates the notion of power and empowerment, drawing from three concrete examples of dancing with the spirit of a tree, the spirit of the night, and the spirit of a power animal. Instead of a conclusion, I offer an Entre’Act as a an in-between, linking this first Act/Article/Acticle of the diptych, with the second to come, which will focus on community, ceremony and perfomance.
- Embodied Enquiry
- Improvised movement
- Jonathan Horwitz & Zara Waldeback
- Scandinavian Center for Shamanic Studies