Dusty Dancing

One dance a day keeps The Sandstorm away

The Sandstorm is a terrible calamity that goes on a rampage every now and then. A very natural phenomenon that became an evil entity in Shantiah culture. And as all malevolent beings, there are many ways to ward it off. The most common one is to dance in the Shan's dust.

 

A dance for dust

 

The dance is a complex ritual aimed to bless the ketsh, celebrate life and ward off the evil. The first dance is performed barefoot in dust pools. The stage is set for only one performer, the greatest of its band. All the family gather around the dancer who will execute gracious movements projecting waves of dust on everyone. This is supposed to reunite the ketsh with the very essence of life. By covering themselves in dust through the dance, they are guaranteed a long and healthy life.

 

A dance for protection

 

The second dance is performed by every dancer of the ketsh. Gathering what is left of the dust pool after the first dance, they elevate walls of dust around them and spread it on the ambiant air. This is supposed to ward off the Sandstorm, and give the Shantiahe protection against its evil sand. Since the mortal quartz is the essence of death, only the origin of life can fight it off. By doing so, they believe that they will be safe from the Sandstorm and the bad omens it brings.

 

A dance for future

 

The last dance is only performed by young Shantiahe. The soon-to-be dancers display the results of their training and grind the earth to produce more dust. Their moves are a little bit off and uncertain, but so is the future. The dance is an ode to the days to come, and the dust coming from the ground symbolize the new Shantiahe to come.


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