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Screen Dance as Rite of Passage

The artist's monograph Screen Dance as Rite of Passage is based on Dr Lila Moore’s PhD thesis entitled Dance on Screen (Middlesex University, 2001). Her thesis claims dance on screen as a hybrid art form with unique screen-based aesthetics. In this monograph, she demonstrates via detailed study, the capacity of screen dance to function as a ritualistic art form. The text explains how screen dance can reveal the imaginal realms of the psyche and seeks to holistically bridge and heal the split between the body and the psyche as well as the divide between the body, psyche, nature and the artificial, technological world. The analysis of Screen Dance as Rite of Passage is based on the film Gaia – Mysterious Rhythms which Dr Lila Moore made as part of her practice-based doctorate.

Gaia - Mysterious Rhythms is a screendance-ritual performed by a young woman on the seashore. The dance unfolds a rite of passage and a process of transformation through the woman's interaction with the elements of the natural environment: the rhythms and features of the earth, sea, moon and sun. In formal terms, Gaia (short title) was set out to explore the notion of screen choreography/screendance through a subtle, poetic and reflective interplay of images of the body and the environment. In terms of content, the woman's performance is perceived as a source of metaphoric and archetypal imagery that highlights the intricate relationship between body, psyche, and the world. Gaia illustrates processes of transformation, Self-integration and empowerment relating to female and feminine identity. Moreover, it provides an analysis of spiritual, noetic and imaginal realms, including ancient symbols and archetypal symbolic forms, through the non-verbal visual poetry and fusion of dance and film.

The monograph is especially suitable for students, scholars, film-makers, dancers and choreographers, and can be useful to those interested in women’s spirituality, occult and goddess studies, Jungian psychology and Transpersonal studies, and movement-based therapies. The monograph provides detailed explanations and visual illustrations including links to the film and useful references.

Dr Lila Moore holds a PhD in Dance on Screen from Middlesex University (2001). Her doctorate, which was the first practice-based PhD in Dance on Screen in the UK and world-wide, was dedicated to the innovative art form of screen choreography termed today as screen dance or screendance. Gaia – Mysterious Rhythms was selected by the IMZ, 7th competitive international festival for dance films and videos, Dance Screen 99 in Cologne, Germany. It was featured in the category of Screen Choreography in the festival's catalogue. In addition, Gaia – Mysterious Rhythms was selected by Dance on Camera Festival, 2000 in New York and featured in the festival’s programme. The film together with the written texts are part of academic, educational programmes in the context of screendance, screen-based art forms, technoetic arts, spirituality, feminism, Jungian psychology and Transpersonal studies.

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