- An Inquiry, Vol. IX, No. 2
Reviewed by Munir Hedges
Sacred Dance, Awakening Spirituality Through Movement and Ritual, reflects
a high level of arduous, mindful research in addition to heartwise reporting
of self experience and keen observation over years of listening, noticing
and recording by internationally renowned author, Iris J. Stewart. A sacred
woman in her own right, she has reached beyond form, dimension and words
in her compilation of this extraordinary work. The select format of Sacred
Woman, Sacred Dance includes: Part One: InThe Beginning Was the Dance
and Part Two: Modern Sacred Dance Today. In total, an intimate introduction
by the author heightens awareness as she explains her personal manisfestation
of the quest toward the sacred and spiritual, with fifteen chapters, extensive
notes, a resource section and bibliography. This elegant book is highlighted
with rare photographs, illustrations and offset notable quotations.
holds her personal experiences and research material in a supportive,
definitive manner as her writings align with the thread of infinity, leading
the audience of readers in and around the spiritual and the sacred, through
movement and ritual, into deeply peaceful encounters and discoveries.
Iris, flower of the divine, has allowed room for each reader to move,
sit, flow or chant/repeat a zekr, in a state of completeness by the rhythm
of sacred movement and sacred words. The writing of her book took Ms.
Stewart to archaeological sites throughout Europe, the Middle East and
South America. As she emphasizes: Through ecstatic identification with
the All, the Universal, or however we may try to define the experience,
a union happens that causes awareness of self to recede before a growing
sense of community or totality. Down through the ages this subtle but
powerful knowledge has been available to those who have been able to recognize
by a woman, for and about women, this lovely book, in its uniqueness and
light, offers wisdom of the sacred to a spiritual, gender free humanity.