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Dance in Hittite Culture: Choreography and Setting

Stefano de Martino    Università degli Studi di Torino, Italia    


Dance played a significant role in the performance of Hittite cult festivals. Evidence on dance comes from the cuneiform tablets discovered in Anatolia, but also from images depicted on some cult-vases. After having very briefly presented the main characters of Hittite dancing, we will deal with the so-called narrative dances, and with a dance that accompanies the movements of an acrobat who leaps on a bull. Narrative dances, which mostly occur in Old Hittite texts, stage mimetic representations of hunting scenes. The bull-leaping performance is documented from the frieze on a decorated vase and possibly from two Hittite tablets. In both cases, the performed actions, which are manifestations of the oldest intangible heritage of Anatolia and the Mediterranean regions, likely symbolize the superiority of humans over the wild animals.

Nov. 30, 2023
Nov. 7, 2023

Keywords: HittitesDanceBull-LeapingCult FestivalsNarrative Dances

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