Review Of "Why We Dance: A Philosophy Of Bodily Becoming" By K. L. LaMothe

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This book, LaMothe's fifth, weaves together current concerns in dance, philosophy, psychology, and religion. The author examines why people dance, what dance is, and why everyone should do it. She suggests dance can play a central role in reversing humanity’s currently hazardous path toward ecological destruction and therefore self-destruction. Referencing a variety of disciplines and authors from a wide range of fields, LaMothe organizes her "vision of dance" around three principles: through dance one "creates and becomes patterns of sensation and response"; dancing creates a sensory awareness of participation in it; in dancing one attends consciously to one’s movements and, therefore, to the evolving challenges of each moment. The author argues that this sensory attention to the moment is precisely what is lacking in overmediated 21st-century lives. In addition, LaMothe claims that participation in the minute-by-minute sensory presence dancing provides is a biological, ethical, spiritual, and ecological necessity. Through dancing, she posits, one can understand and transform the self, the communities in which one lives and participates, and the larger world. The chapters alternate between theory and personal narrative, providing readers with both challenge and balance. The audience for this volume extends to specialists interested in ecology, feminist studies, and religion. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, professionals.


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