Sri Chinmoy: Yes, if the music is soulful and the dancing is also soulful, then it can be a form of meditation. Anything that is soulful is a form of meditation, but we have to know that there are degrees of soulfulness. Talking to someone soulfully is a form of meditation. Dancing soulfully to soulful music is a form of meditation. Soulfully reading spiritual books is a form of meditation. Sitting alone in your room concentrating and elevating your consciousness to a very high, deep and sublime plane is also a form of meditation.
We have to know the difference between the highest meditation and ordinary meditation. Naturally, meditating most soulfully in front of a shrine is of infinitely greater importance than dancing soulfully to soulful music. Very often there are difficulties with dancing. The dancing may be soulful, but the audience may be absolutely undivine, impure and vulgar. No matter how pure one is, the undivine consciousness of the audience will lower one’s consciousness. There are many dancers in India who have come from very religious, respectable families and when they first started dancing, they were pure and spiritual. They were pure, but the eyes of the people in the audience were not pure. Naturally, the audience’s lower quality of consciousness was thrust upon the young dancers and they lost their spiritual consciousness.
In a spiritual community, dancers may safely perform soulful dancing because everybody there prays and meditates and it is not open to the public. The community is only for seekers who are under spiritual guidance and who are expected to lead a higher life. If the dancers also pray and meditate, they are like members of the same spiritual family. Since the audience and the dancers have the same divine consciousness, there can be no problem.
The difference between a song and a piece of music is this: The song is the rose, the piece of music is the garden. The song is usually of the heart and for the heart. The music is of the entire being and for the entire being.