Sacred Movement, Sacred Sound


Fall 2014 quarter

Taught by

modern dance, kinesiology

This program explores the connection between spirituality and the performing arts in multiple contexts. First, we will examine the physical context of ritual spaces such as temples and landscapes in Japan, India, China, Tibet, and elsewhere. Second, we will discuss the context of the mind, in which spiritual concepts of liminality, cosmology, and mindfulness combine with both Asian and Western ways of thinking. In addition, because interdependence in community and family is an essential aspect of spiritual ways of knowing; some of our work includes collaboration through discussion, presentation, and performance. We will use sound and movement in theory and practice to better understand these connections. 

Each week will include lectures, workshops, seminars, films, and some type of engagement in the arts. The college owns an Indonesian gamelan, which students in this program will learn to play as part of their work in understanding community music-making from an Asian culture. Gamelan playing requires sitting on the floor, letting go of starring in the rehearsal or performance, and playing well with others. We will incorporate physical movement throughout the quarter as we come to develop our understanding of the relationship between body, mind, and spirit.

Students enrolled in this program will be expected to participate fully in all program activities, including those that require some element of the unfamiliar (for example, moving the body in various ways and learning to make new vocal and instrumental sounds). In the ten weeks of fall quarter, each student is expected to write two research papers, develop one collaborative presentation, and create one solo presentation. Other writing, rehearsals, and exploratory activities will occur as well. Your contribution to this program will be most effective if you choose to take your work and your ideas as seriously as we do.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

dance, music, ethnomusicology, ethnochoreology, cultural studies, religious studies

Academic Website

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

No Required Online Learning: No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional for students.


Date Revision
December 2nd, 2014 $50 fee has been removed.
June 4th, 2014 This program now accepts students of all class levels.
February 25th, 2014 New opportunity added.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 48


Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16 credits): 10190
Fr (16 credits): 10342

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