The Depth and Beauty of Dance: Shamanistic Dances and Cultural Preservation in Siberia

Dance is a unique game of ideas, tossing configurations of the world's space, juggling dimensions of existence. Dance uses every word of our body, weaving it into sentences and novels. In movement, we primarily feel the air. For example, a shaman beckons the air with the wings of his hands.

Each pose, each position of the hands represents a specific thought about the world. In pose and movement, we communicate with the world, with space, we master and capture it. Depending on the aerial expanse, we either embrace the air with the wings of our hands in flight, or connect with the earth on the ground. Space is infinite, and by extending our hand or leg, we give form to the space.
drawing of a dancing shaman
Cave paintings and stele statues have their own unique stories. In the rocks of Siberia, there are numerous petroglyphs depicting dancing figures and animals. Horses are commonly depicted in those drawings. It is believed that a shaman's soul would travel to the Upper World on a horse, and to the Lower World on a bull.

The philosophical foundation of shamanistic dance, like shamanism as a whole, is the idea of inseparability, the unity of nature and humans, their reunion. It is the sense of belonging to the deeds of higher natural forces when the shaman's consciousness reaches the inaccessible heights for an ordinary person to fulfill the requests of the inhabitants of the Middle World. The shaman's dance is deeply dramatic, rich in expressive means, and encompasses a range of feelings, sometimes diametrically opposed.

The shaman's dance is a reflection on the essence of life, a strict introspective gaze, disarming selflessness that comes to aid in the name of saving humanity. It is multi-faceted, multidimensional. It is a polyphony of emotions, thoughts, desires, and aspirations.

Altai, Buryat, and Yakut folk dances and games are vibrant and impressive manifestations of the rich spiritual and artistic culture of these peoples. Artistically talented individuals, through the rhythm of dance and the plasticity of movement, reveal their inner essence, their perception of beauty, and preserve the unique features of everyday life of their people.

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