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” Of course, seeking to answer traditional questions important to philosophical aesthetics is just one of many ways to approach dance in order to better understand what it is and why it matters to us.There are theories and insights offered by dance studies scholars, historians, educators, anthropologists, practitioners, dance critics and others, for example, that are relevant to the questions asked by philosophical aestheticians.Related to this is the idea that works of art (including dances conceived of as artworks) are created by transforming something from ordinary life or experience into an artistic symbol that exists and that is to be appreciated and experienced at a remove from “ordinary” life.(For additional literature providing reasons for dance’s underrepresentation in aesthetics, see Carter 2005, Sparshott 1988 and Van Camp 1981.) Opposed to Sparshott’s view of the history of dance philosophy is Julie Van Camp, a philosopher who agrees that dance is underrepresented in philosophical aesthetics but who denies that it is has been quite as underrepresented as Sparshott claims.In doing so, he betrayed his own sympathy toward the Expressionist school of modern American dance: “At the root of all these varied manifestations of dancing . This is basic dance.”A truly universal definition of dance must, therefore, return to the fundamental principle that dance is an art form or activity that utilizes the body and the range of movement of which the body is capable.
” and “how are dance performances appreciated, experienced and perceived?
Philosophy students and others who are interested in dance philosophy are strongly advised to consider sources from outside of the academy of philosophy and to conduct their own research in a way that makes use of the rich and enlightening work that comes from these other fields of inquiry.
In addition the dance philosopher must take care to identify which methodology is being used to discuss which question and for what purposes.
For a phenomenological approach to dance, movement and thought that makes recourse to evolutionary biology see Sheets-Johnstone, 19.
For a process philosophy approach to dance see Manning 2013.
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While analytic philosophers of aesthetics might want to know what the “work” of dance as art is, for example, this may not be a question of relevance to the continental, pragmatic or process philosopher (and even less relevant to the dance studies scholar).