Dance is a medium for religious experience, communication, expression and connection to realms with which many people long to interact. Our class will endeavor into research regarding western philosophical traditions and a wide range of cultural dance practices in order to theorize the potentiality that dancing as a paradigm has to offer studies of culture and religion. Dance is present in the religion of many cultures around the world. Dance has been an important part of ceremony, rituals, celebration, and religion since the earliest of human civilizations. This research paper will allow us to trace the history of a chosen religious dance; identifying its connection to a deity (or many deities), its impact on culture and communities, past and present, and the value of dance among its members.
Students must generate and communicate ideas that they have formulated concerning a specific religious dance. Students will need to gather and assess information pertaining to the dance and then combine, change, or reapply existing information in the form of written communication (research paper). Students must demonstrate intercultural competence and knowledge of civic responsibilities, social engagement, and the ability to evaluate choices, actions and consequences, as related to ethical decision-making by answering the provided research questions.
How does this form of dance impact the followers of the religion? Do you find it to be an inclusive or exclusive practice within the religious community? Give examples that demonstrate this feeling of inclusion or exclusion.
Describe the different capacities in which this dance is currently performed-in both religious and secular contexts. Research to find how these juxtaposed performances are valued (devalued) by members of the community. Consider this, would you participate in this dance if you were a member of this community? Why or why not? If you visited the area, would you attend one of the performances as a tourist? Why or why not?
Does this particular dance have a greater impact on this culture, including non-believers or followers of other religions within the same region? Do you believe the practice of this dance either creates tension or builds bridges between this religious culture and others? Why or why not?
How does this dance and its accompanying music compare to that of another religion? Are there similarities in ceremony, practice or tradition? What is the greatest contrast between these two dances? Do you believe one is more beneficial for its community that the other? Why or why not?
How do you think this dance would be received on our campus at TJC? What reaction do you think viewers would have and how might it impact them? If you learned the choreography, would you participate in the dance?
This paper MUST include a Works Cited page, using Chicago style standards, with a minimum of eight total sources used. Sources should be cited on the Works Cited page AND using parenthetical citations (putting the source information and page number or date after each quote or reference). Please consult the Purdue Writing Lab Links to an external site.for more information on this! University sites, major news-media sites, professional corporation sites, and academic societies should be consulted, along with any peer-reviewed resources. Websites should NOT be the only sources used.
There is not a defined length requirement, but successful papers using 8 verified sources are generally a minimum of 5-6 pages in length. Papers should be typed in 12pt font and double-spaced, including the following heading and in the upper-left hand corner and title below:
[First Name][Last Name]
DANC 1305-[Section Number]
Religion & Dance Final Research Paper: [Name of Chosen Dance]
Focus of Research:
Students will choose ONE of the following religious dances:
You will research the caste system associated with this religions dance, its history, deities connected with it, the culture it effects currently and in the past, training, current trends and the impact it has on its religious believers/followers. You will also include all of the preceeding requirements for the paper. Mossi
The Mossi are located in Burkina Faso, in sub-Saharan Africa. Unlike other groups in Africa whose traditional religions have been supplanted by Islam and Christianity, seventy percent of the Mossi people follow their traditional religion. “Wende’” is their creator. Different styles of dress, make-up, masks and dance connect them to their god and to their deceased. You will research the culture, how they connect with their deities, dances associated with religion and history. You will also include all of the preceeding requirements for the paper.
The Zar Ritual
Dance can function as a healing power through worship. The Zar is a ritual to rid women of troublesome jinn. Practiced in North American Muslim and non-Muslim communities in the Nile region, the zar is a healing rite in which maladies, caused by possession by “zar” spirits are cured through music, dancing and sacrificial feasts. You will focus your research on women in this culture as compared to your own, discuss how this effects your own ideas of dance and religion and the impact this has on its believers within the same region and other regions. You will also include all of the preceeding requirements for the paper.
Native American Dances Related to Worship
“Although Europeans colonists called the Americas the ‘New World’, it was a long-established domain of the Lakota Sioux and other First Nation people. Followers believed that by dancing the Ghost Dance, they could resume their indigenous ways; their ancestors and the buffalo would return, and white people would be obliterated. “
Many religious and spiritual dances are associated with this culture and impact our own culture’s past and present. You will research the connection of the original Native American culture, their religion, spiritual connection to the earth and their ancestors, and the impact colonists had on their way of life that changed our own country today. You will also include all of the preceeding requirements for the paper.
This final paper constitutes 10% of the student’s overall academic grade. Drafts will be submitted twice during the semester prior to the final submission for evaluation and feedback from the course instructor. The final essay will be evaluated through rubrics based on General Education Core objectives with focus on:
Critical thinking skills-Generate and communicate ideas by combining, changing or reapplying existing information.
Communication (Writing) Skills- Develop, interpret and express ideas through written communication (including organization, clarity purpose, details, grammar, and spelling.)
Social Responsibility-Demonstrate intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility and engagement in the campus, regional, national, or global communities.
Personal Responsibility- Demonstrate the ability to evaluate choices, actions, and consequences as related to ethical decision making.