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Sacred Woman, Sacred Dance: Awakening Spirituality Through Movement & Ritual by Iris J. Stewart (Inner Traditions) Shows how dance, the highest expression of spirituality in cultures and traditions all over the world, is being integrated into the lives of women today.
* The first book to explore women's spiritual expression--women's ways--through a study of dance
* Investigates how dance came to be excluded from worship, and reveals how dance is once again being brought into spiritual practices.
* Includes resources for further instruction in sacred dance.
Today we primarily think of dance as a form of entertainment or as a way to exercise or socialize. There was a time, however, when dance was considered the way to commune with the divine, a part of life's journey, celebrating the seasons and rhythms of the year and the rhythms of our lives. Dance is a language that reunites the body, mind, and soul. While the role of women's sacred dance was most valued in goddess-worshipping cultures where women served as priestesses and healers, dance was once an integral part of religious ritual and ceremonial expression in cultures all over the world, including Judaism and Christianity. In this book the author investigates how dance came to be excluded from worship and reveals how dance is once again being integrated into spiritual practices.

Sacred Woman, Sacred Dance reminds us of women's spiritual expression--women's ways--through a study of dance. It describes sacred circles, birth rituals, ecstatic dances, and dances of loss and grief (in groups and individually) that allow women to integrate the movements of faith, healing, and power into their daily life.

Dancing in the Vortex: The Story of Ida Rubinstein (Choreography and Dance Studies: Harwood Academic)

This was no ordinary woman: she was a chameleon; a diva who lived many lives; a woman who overcame the endemic, fashionable anti-semitism of her times to enchant and captivate the highest of societies. She touched the sun and lit flames all over Europe, only to disappear into complete obscurity. Here was the aristocrat who drank champagne out of madonna leaves and had two great loves, one woman, one man. Here was a woman who scandalized society from Paris to St Petersburg, whose charisma attracted people from Marc Chagall to Sarah Bernhardt and Jean Cocteau to the first Lord Moyne; here was a woman who for a quarter of a century dominated centre stage, her own gala firework display, her own festival, a gilded being touched by the Gods.

Virtually untrained as a dancer, Ida Rubinstein's qualities as a performer warranted her a place in the first triumphant Parisian season of the Ballets Russes and her charisma and creative energy attracted collaborators of the quality of Debussy, Stravinsky, Ravel, Cocteau, Bakst and Benois. There is no doubt that Ida Rubinstein was a "superstar" in all its meanings: as extravagant as her friend Sarah Bernhardt (with whom she shared a penchant for collecting wild animals as pets) and as revolutionary in her lifestyle and performances as Isadora Duncan. In this book Vicki Woolf gives us a long-awaited insight into the life of this remarkable woman and illuminates an especially fascinating chapter of artistic activity in Paris in the early twentieth century.

Although untrained as a dancer, Ida Rubinstein was an integral part of the first Paris season of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in 1909. Her celebrated beauty and mysterious origins (she was an orphan from a wealthy Russian Jewish family) added to the exoticism of the lavishly staged ballets she graced, which also featured no less than Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky. After a second season in this exalted company, Rubinstein left to form her own troupe. For more than 20 years, she would produce and often star in plays and ballets. Her own performing talents may have received mixed reviews, but for her theatrical spectacles she commissioned music by Ravel, Debussy, and Stravinsky; sets and costumes by Bakst and Benois; poetry by d'Annunzio and Cocteau; and choreography by Fokine, Nijinska, and Massine. Charles S. Mayer, writing in the International Encyclopedia of Dance noted that "although Rubinstein's entire career was an exercise in self-glorification, it is noteworthy that the dancers, musicians, composers, poets, dramatists, and designers she employed were among the most influential and important in their professions in the twentieth century." The story of this singular grande dame will find its niche in collections that concentrate on the history of dance and the performing arts.

 About the author: Vicki Woolf, a successful actress, has appeared in over 200 television productions as well as in several films and countless plays. Her training as a dancer led to the development of her own method of exercises and related publications, prior to undertaking the research Dancing in the Vortex.

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