Issue #07: Sacred and Profane – Rituals of Now

April – Oct 2014

Ritual is an inevitable component of our culture it deeply pervades our social interactions, extending from the largest-scale social and political processes to the most intimate aspects of our self-experience.Rituals structure our lives, shape public expressions of powerful emotions, while building a sense of communal belonging. Even though we tend to believe that our contemporary world is entirely profane or secular, we may nonetheless find ourselves connected, consciously or unconsciously, to the memory of something sacred. Rituals help us to perceive, experience and relate to time and space differently, offering a different perspective upon the everyday, transforming ordinary routines into extra-ordinary realities. And thus, we slowly transcend the humdrum of the mundane. Whether or not we recognise them as such, rituals are able to bring order and texture into our chaotic lives, slowing down reality.

With this issue, we invite speculations and assertions which look at the functions ritual plays within everyday life.

About This Issue


Ben Eltham, Shruti Gosh, Alice Heyward, Deborah Jowitt, Betty Lefevre, Linda Luke, Anne Marsh, Sarah-Jane Norman, Tere O’Connor, John Rundell, Yumi Umiumare, Soo Yeun You.

Dancehouse would like to wamly thank all the contributors to this issue and particularly John Rundell and Chloe Chignell. Many thanks to Modjtaba Sadria and Sally Gardner. A huge thanks to Jill Orr for allowing us to use her artworks for the Diary covers.

Editorial Board

PHILIPA ROTHFIELD (Chair) is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Philosophy program, La Trobe University. She is a dance reviewer for RealTime arts magazine and Momm magazine, Korea. She is co-convenor of the Choreography and Corporeality working group, International Federation of Theatre Research. She has been dancing on and off for some decades. As a philosopher, she writes on French philosophy, political philosophy, feminism and postmodernism, specialising in philosophy of the body. She is currently writing a book on dance and philosophy. She has published on dance in relation to Merleau-Ponty, Whitehead, Nietzsche, Klossowski and Ravaisson. She is also Dancehouse’s 2014 Creative Advisor.

JOHN RUNDELL Associate Professor John Rundell is Reader in Social Theory and Director of The Ashworth Program for Social Theory at The University of Melbourne. He is an editor of the journal Critical Horizons and of the Social and Critical Theory Book Series. He has published widely on the topic of modernity, and problems of human self- images in social theory, with particular reference to the imagination. Recent publications include Aesthetics and Modernity Essays by Agnes Heller (Rowman and Littlefield, 2010); The Erotic Imaginary, Autonomy and Modernity in Harry Blatterer, Pauline Johnson, and Maria Markus, Private Intimacies, 2010, London, Palgrave MacMillan; ‘Re- reading Fichte’s Science of Knowledge after Castoriadis: the anthropological imagination and the radical imaginary’, Thesis Eleven, No. 119, 2013.

JILL ORR has delighted, shocked and moved audiences through her performance installations which she has presented in cities such as Paris, Beijing, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Antwerp, New York, Toronto, Quebec City, Graz, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane from the late 1970s to now. Orr’s early iconic work Bleeding Trees has led to commissions such as Marriage of the Bride to Art, Raising the Spirits, Exhume the Grave, Hunger, The Myer Windows, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, Goya and Ash, to which have contributed immensely to the contemporary cultural landscape.

ANGELA CONQUET is Artistic Director of Dancehouse and founder of this publication. She has worked extensively in the independent dance sector as artistic director, presenter and producer and her work experiences took her to different contexts and countries. She is also a translator and interpreter.

This website was developed with the support of the IAN POTTER FOUNDATION.

Front and back cover Jill Orr, Between Somewhere and Nowhere
Photographer: Christina Simons for Jill Orr
Graphic Design: Famous Visual Services

The views and opinions expressed in this Dancehouse Diary are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Dancehouse.

ISSN 2203-4161
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