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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dance

  • Author(s): Meyer-Dietrich, Erika
  • et al.
Abstract

According to the Egyptian iconographical and textual sources, dance is performed by animals, human beings (dwarfs, men, women, and children appear in the reliefs), the bas of Pe, the deceased king or individual, the living king in a divine role, and gods and goddesses. Problems concerning the classification, representation, and interpretation of dance in ancient Egypt are addressed here by structuring our knowledge through a focus on the performer, resulting in an overview of the dancer, the occasion of the performance, the location of the performance, and the imagined space that the dancing produces. These four criteria can be attested in natural-environmental, royal, funeral, and religious-festival contexts. The ancient Egyptian perceived dance in relation to leisure activities, gendered space, and also the negotiation of liminal space.

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