Lesley Pruitt
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Erica Rose Jeffrey
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Finding empathy and practising peace through dance: through a mirror darkly?
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Chapter 4 explores the concept of practising peace though a deep investigation of one set of activities involving the use of mirroring movements. Cultivating empathy has been identified as one crucial element of building peace. As researchers have established, empathy is essential to the restructuring of relationships after violence. Mirroring is a well-established dance activity that is used in many settings and contexts, including theatre, dance therapy, dance education and community dance, and simple variations are included in some mainstream peacebuilding resources as icebreakers. As seen in the three case studies across cultures, peace must be practised, and the process of mirroring provides opportunities for this by inviting interpersonal exchange and the building of kinaesthetic, or felt, empathy, which provides avenues through which to see, understand and feel others across difference. In addition to the potential of empathy within peacebuilding, this chapter discusses the politics of empathy and its challenges in arts-based peacebuilding.

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Dancing through the dissonance

Creative movement and peacebuilding


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