The Paradox of Self in the Imagination of Goa Trance: The Dance-Floor

The Paradox of Self in the Imagination of Goa Trance: The Dance-Floor

Sara Constança (Independent Researcher, Portugal) and Emília Simão (Escola Superior Gallaecia University (ESG), Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8665-6.ch010
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This chapter deals with the second part of the investigation concerning the experience of self in the Goa Trance dance-floor. The authors present and develop the presentation of Goa Trance parties with a general view and special emphasis on the relationship between the DJs performance and the participation of the trancers. The genre is explained wile the connections between all participants on the party or festival are explored, with regards to Goa Trance. We eventually come to the conclusion that this genre facilitates a self-conscious analyses and its subsequent non conceptual elevation towards a self which is shared in a non-egocentric experience. This investigation proposes that the DJ is not really the shaman figure that people usually assume to be but in fact this shaman figure has to be a result of the collective efforts that build the spirit of the dance-floor. In conclusion, we realize that the DJ is the one which has the responsibility to keep this level of connection.
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“Ich würde nur an einen Gott glauben, der zu tanzen verstünde.”

I would believe only in a god that knows how to dance

Friedrich Nietzsche



Regardless of multiple nuances which are synergistically projected and absorbed in a dynamic between native dancers, in essence the catalysing element of the dance-floor is music. In this, we can find and explore the fifth of four elements in which dwell the several planes of human existence, in a harmony just as ecstatically simple as it is quite complex, from the most basic to the very ethereal.

Did we knew while witnessing the emergence of the rave scene—the ritualizing altars of EDM (Electronic Dance Music)—that we were propitiating paradoxical rites between the machine and spirit? Knew we that the machine like trance (Ferreira, 2007) would one day project us towards spiritual trance, and that new technologies would one night turn into modern techniques of ecstasy? Today we do! Being the sound structure similar to the minds, the auditory vibrations unite with the psychic ones, establishing analogies between technological devices and Men, as far as they are extensions of its nervosa and emotional system (Lopes, 1990). These fluxes get prolonged between natives and DJ (Disc Jockey), coming and going, in a play that keeps sending back to one and another, feeding in a harmonious logic of instantaneous exchange of significance which may be conscious or not, underlying communicational dynamics of the most various levels on the dance-floor. The symbolic identity of the dance-floor may come in part from the mating of various forms of altered consciousness, that we may take as alterations in states of presence and unity in relation to what surrounds us, or is it that these altered states of consciousness are after all not really altered for they are Thee consciousness in all its embrace? Notwithstanding the elevated decibels, the silence of lyrics in the music ends up promoting a less conceptual interpretation of the message, facilitating the sensorial recreation of an interior world free from contents. At a certain point, the signification of the word demystified the magic of the tribal world (Davis, 2004), but the abstract instrumentality of Goa Trance may have come to change that, reviving this magic, considering the unquestionable presence of its spirit in the dance-floor where individual experiences are gradually incorporated into a perfectly syntonic collective. The rebirth and consolidation of this sense of belonging and tribal spirit within the global and technological post-modern scenario in which we live in, as awaken new relationships of evident integration between man and technology (Cruz, 2000) enhanced by EDM. Technology as mediator but also as inducer of trance on the dance-floor has itself a shamanic facet (Simão e Magalhães, 2010) by allowing communication between different zones of reality in this context, connected by a central axis which is music. But, what about if the real doesn’t originate in reality? And what about the vibration emanating from the dance-floor coming from a virtual reality? Is this magic? We believe it is the result of finding oneself in Goa Trance.

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