Sacred Woman, Sacred Dance
The Goddess is alive and she is moving. From Tara to Isadora Duncan, from Sufi spinning to Katherine Graham, Iris Stewart brings us an amazingly vibrant story of dance. Expertly researched and documented, with photographs that span cultures and countries, SACRED WOMAN, SACRED DANCE restores not only women’s history but it takes us to our most elemental biological rhythms to dance. For Stewart, dance is our natural state and her argument is convincing as she takes us from the rhythm of heartbeat, to the history of moon dances and menstrual cycles. I found the history of belly dance particularly enlightening as Stewart resurrects from its descent into sexual exploitation to its cross cultural practice as a preparation for childbirth. Makes sense, doesn’t it! But I would not have known that without SACRED WOMAN, SACRED DANCE. In this work spirituality is in movement, invoking body and mind, as the sacred is handed down to us from the priestesses, in many and varied traditions, throughout the world. This major contribution to our history of women is likewise a beautiful work of art and above all, an “invitation to dance.”
Kathleen Barry, Ph.D.
Pennsylvania State Univeristy
Author: FEMALE SEXUAL SLAVERY, 1979; SUSAN B. ANTHONY, 1988; PROSTITUTION OF SEXUALITY, 1995; VIETNAM’S WOMEN IN TRANSITION, 1996; THE SPONTANEOUS SELF, forthcoming.