Dance Matters / by Maré Hieronimus


To culminate our experiences at CultivateDanceNH in August, 2013, photographer Arthur Fink asked each of the participating artists to write a paragraph on why we believe dance matters. Below is the paragraph I am sharing that will be coupled with a group of his images from the dance festival, which he hopes to publish and share in some form. I love the dance. It's quiet revolution and transformation, in all ways. This is why dance matters, to me...

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift. The rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant, and has forgotten the gift." -Albert Einstein

There are many ways to know or experience meaning, and one of these ways is to allow the linear/logical mind to give way to the non-linear, intuitive and non-verbal realm of the dancing body, which can precipitate overwhelming experiences of timelessness and interconnectedness inside of a fleeting performative act. This body to body, human to human real-time exchange is the foundation for my interest in the creation of performance works. There is no way to fully commodify or sell this experience, which presents a problem in this culture of consumption. But dance still nevertheless matters, and perhaps it matters even more because of its ephemeral nature. Dance is a profound way of knowing, connecting, experiencing, processing, communicating and expressing. It's origins take us back to some of the earliest ways in which we as human beings experienced meaning through ritual and communion. It still serves that same function for those of us who participate within it, whether witnessing or moving. And through taking us out of the realm of the logical mind and into the intuitive, dance has the potential to help open an internal space that shifts ones attention away from the importance of "I", and into the importance of "we", and the earth community in which we live. I would say that this is exactly what this society, and earth, need now, as we sway further and further away from nature and swing towards technology, isolation, and total disconnection from the vehicle in which we live: the human body. Dance matters because it brings us back into that vehicle, and into the here and now, through which we can experience and celebrate the movement towards something that is holistic, integrating, communing, and healing. To me, at this time in human history, there is nothing more important then this. - Maré Hieronimus, Brooklyn, New York