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Dance the Tripudium

105. Dance the Tripudium

The tripudium is an ancient processional step of three steps forward and one step backwards. It is still used in Luxembourg today. I met it for the first time at a dance workshop with Doug Adams. He taught that it was a symbolic step that meant the church moves forward, but every once in a while moves backwards again.

We processed with it at this workshop, hands on the person’s shoulder in front of us, with people getting mixed up and bumping into each other and laughing together. Doug said that there was something wonderful about that too—that sometimes we go to church and never touch or get touched but when we dance together (or become part of a processional like this together) then we have that chance to be community together, imperfect but still moving community. As we settled into it, it was a powerful movement that said, yes we are together and we do move forward, and at the same time we are human and inevitably we take a step backwards. The people around us are depending on us.

There’s an excitement in the tripudium.

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