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Moving with God

Mark Tully investigates the relationship between dance and spirituality in conversation with dancer and choreographer Akram Khan and with music from three continents.

Mark Tully discusses the relationship between dance and spirituality. Both movement and specifically dance are part of the rich history of spirituality, but somehow this is often overlooked.

Mark Tully aims to redress the balance by investigating the relationship between the movement and dance and the transience of spirituality. He asks how physicality can play a part in formal worship and looks at dance as a metaphor for divine philosophy. He also talks to choreographer and dancer Akram Khan about his theories on the spirituality of movement and the ability of dance to cross cultural and religious borders.

The readings include poetry ranging from W. B. Yeats to Rumi, and there's music from Leonard Cohen to Stravinsky.

The readers are Adjoa Andoh and Michael Feast.

Producer: Frank Stirling
A Unique production for BBC Radio 4

15 days left to listen

28 minutes

Music Played

  • Lenny LeBlanc

    I Dance

    • Anthology: The Best of Lenny LeBlanc.
    • in-ciite (ICM).
  • Catechism by Grace Evans

    Grace Evans explores how the joy of dancing co-exists with static rule-bound religion.

  • The Dancer at Cruachan and Cropatrick by W.B. Yeats

    Poet W.B. Yeats describes an ancient instinctive dance in praise of God.

  • Leonard Cohen

    Dance Me To the End of Love

    • The Essential Leonard Cohen.
    • SONY.
  • Jocelyn Pook

    Ave Maria

    Performer: Musica Antiqua Köln.
    • DESH (Music from the Theatrical Performance).
    • Pook Music.
    • B00B60JULI.
  • Shiva by Ananda Cooraswamy

    Sri Lankan philosopher Ananda Cooraswamy describes the Hindu God Shiva.

  • Peru Negro

    Son De Los Diablos

    • Afro-Peruvian Classics - The Soul of Black Peru.
    • Luaka Bop.
  • Igor Stravinsky

    Rite of Spring

    Performer: New York Philharmonic. Performer: Zubin Mehta, conductor.
    • Stravinsky : The Rite Of Spring.
    • Cbs Masterworks.
    • MK 34557.
  • Birth by Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Majdhub

    Sudanese poet Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Majdhub describes dancing to celebrate Maulid.

  • If A Tree Could Be A Warrior by Rumi

    Sufi poet Rumi pointing out the role of movement in spirituality.

  • Trad

    Lord of the Dance

    Performer: The Cambridge Singers. Performer: BBC Concert Orchestra directed by John Rutter.
    • Feel the Spirit.
    • Collegium Records.
    • COLCD128.