Dance. A Philosophical Investigation

Original title: La Danse. Philosophie du corps en mouvement

Publication Date:

January 2024



Original language and publisher

French | Allary Editions

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French



Number of copies sold:

8,000 in print

Dance. A Philosophical Investigation

Original title: La Danse. Philosophie du corps en mouvement


A book that is just as vibrant as it is stimulating. — Le Monde 

A magnificent essay. — Le Figaro 

Very successful, original and enjoyable. The author depicts this world with the curious freedom of the neophyte. It interweaves an endearing portrait of the Argentinian star Ludmila Pagliero and an analysis of this delicate art. — Télérama

Alexandre Lacroix’ new book is complete and fluid like a choreographed step, and dissects our need to move. La Vie

A clear essay on what dance offers in terms of intoxication or trance.  Madame Figaro

An essay which combines the admiration of the reporter, the story of a life trajectory and the rigor of the analysis. This three-step swing in turn makes you want to join the dance. Philosophie Magazine

A beautiful text that grasps what happens when bodies let loose on the dance floor, and highlights the dancers’ abnegation.La Croix l’Hebdo

This book must be praised. For the courage to be anachronistic, for the language power of the author, for whom precision of each observation and their careful embedding in the knowledge of the world. — Tanz (Germany)

A fascinating essay, with great clarity of writing. — France Inter

Ritual dances, sexual ones, war dances or festive ones… We don’t know of any human society without dancing. As an activity it is an anthropological invariable, and, along with singing, is surely the oldest art form.

Why do we feel the need to dance? What affects us so deeply about the succession of movements? What distinguishes a dance movement from an ordinary, everyday one? What does dancing teach us about our ability to yield to rhythm, to free us from shame? About the connection between discipline and freedom?

Alexandre Lacroix has summoned a few philosophers who have considered those questions, and, above all, observed the men and women who raise this art to its highest degree of perfection. In order to write this essay, the philosopher was granted exceptional permission to go behind the scenes at the Paris Opera, which is famous for its ballet company, and to attend the rehearsals of the principal dancers Ludmila Pagliero and Stéphane Bullion. He describes their daily work and their stunning paths, and strives to put their bodies’ physical intelligence into words.

His philosophical investigation gets as close as possible to the mysteries of this ephemeral art and intensifies our pleasure as spectators by opening our eyes to what’s at stake in dance.