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Live Review / Photos: Dance Music Reflections – Deep Sugar @ Paradox (2009.01.10); Martyn and Joe Nice @ Hour Haus (2009.01.09)

shivaAll Photos: Josh Sisk

Dance—some Western creation myths favor a divine utterance rendering the visual (the Logos; Let there be Light!) Other traditions have the world arising from sound. But in the context of this article, one might find it enlightening to consider Shiva Nataraja and his dance of the 108 poses that engendered mortal existence. This belief, popular in Southern India, combines both the visual (dance) and the aural (rhythm) in a powerful synergistic way. Paradoxically, Shiva Nataraja’s swaying cosmic body forms both the Lasya, and the Tandava–the creation of the world, and the destruction of the world. Dance is literally the beginning, and the end. According to this Tamil belief, dance is not just a thing of beauty, or entertainment, but also the primal force of existence.

Why then Puritan America’s generalized abhorrence of dance? Why does dance music, and what follows—dancing to that music—carry such a heavy stigma in this country?

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