See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Amid the excitement and festive mood, the highlight would be the "West Side Story" party when the Jets gang from the Minneapolis city area would rival the Sharks from the suburb studio in a dance-off.
In spite of the friendly banter between these two rival "gangs", at the end of the evening there would be an actual body - a murder victim similar to the end of the Broadway version of "West Side Story". Except this time it wasn't acting. This time it was real. Product Details About the Author. About the Author Charlene Behrend Torkelson has been a professional ballroom and Latin dance instructor since - and a published author since The series has a bit of a twist.
Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. Big Easy. Someone is killing New Orleans' street people and this is hurting the City's tourist trade Someone is killing New Orleans' street people and this is hurting the City's tourist trade just beginning to recover from Hurricane's Katrina and Rita. Come aboard the floating resort of Princess Caribbean and it promises to be around-theclock fun full of dancing, dining and activities.
Comfortable surroundings and relaxing venues may entice you to spend all your time onboard! The Wheelhouse Bar offers a complimentary Britishstyle pub lunch menu on sea days. Skywalkers, the disco where a lot of our workshops will be held, is suspended between two pillars protruding high above the stern, fully 18 stories above sea level. The moving sidewalk you ride up is one of the most breathtaking views on any ship, and one that many passengers probably never discover.
Our first stop is Princess Cay located on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas and boasts acres of unspoiled beaches and stunning coral reefs. There are loads of activities to participate in at this port of call, from banana and paddle boating to volleyball and basketball. Cabana rentals are available on the sandy beaches for lounging. See firsthand the beautiful reefs, cays with turtles and coral formations that the Southern Caribbean is famous for. One of the best parts of a cruise is the fact that you have access to endless activities onboard an actionpacked cruise ship!
Dance workshops, evening dances, spas, and shows. Another incredible aspect of cruising is the accommodations. Princess offers a choice of several cabin categories so that you can choose the cabin best suited for you. One of the biggest and perhaps the most delectable reasons why there is popularity with cruises is because of the seemingly endless dining options that. You can indulge in almost any type of cuisine you could imagine. The ship offers complimentary room service in addition to full buffets featuring international dishes where even the pickiest eater will be satisfied.
Are you the type of traveler who wants to experience the best of every destination you visit? Imagine island-hopping from one tropical destination to the next in the Caribbean. Visit Aruba, Bahamas and Curacao, and other incredible paradises. In addition, on our USA Dance cruises we offer unique shore excursion programs for members only.
Offering members a huge value for your vacation is another reason why cruises continue to grow in. Complete with dining, dance activities, accommodations, as well as transportation from one port-of-call to the next, all you have to worry about during your cruise vacation is packing the perfect outfits! Convinced as to why dancers love cruise vacations? See for yourself why popularity with cruises has reached an all-time high and call Travel Themes and Dreams at today and join us for the 4th USA Dance Cruise! By Jean Krupa. National - Of or relating to a nation; common to or characteristic of a whole nation.
Ballroom - A large room used for dancing. Dance - A series of movements that match the speed and rhythm of a piece of music. Week - A period of seven days. Put them all together and what do you get? A memorable event filled with lots of fun, laughter, and a whole lot of dance! Ballroom dance is absolutely growing in popularity throughout the country and NBDW is a wonderful tool that is helping to increase that popularity. The Nation Ballroom Dance Week was an incredible success. Dozens of chapters held events in which hundreds of people gathered together to celebrate ballroom dance.
Some people feel that the First Lady may have had some influence on this decision, but both Ronald and Nancy Reagan were public supporters of ballroom dance during their years during their years in the White House. By Michael Mecham www. USA Dance members shared the gift of dance everywhere, from malls to meadows, and from beaches to ballrooms. There were many chapters that participated in a variety of events to promote National Ballroom Dance Week. Thank you to all that came out and enjoyed great workshops and an awesome Tea Dance.
We look forward to planning an even bigger and better event next year. The weather was great. Perfect time of the day for some of the best Dance Exhibitions Indianapolis has to offer. Announcements were made and flyers were handed out. The Artsgarden is also attached to the largest indoor malls in the downtown area. Starting off our second set of exhibitions were Indianapolis and Heartlands senior smooth and nine-dance National Champions Rog and Amy Greenawalt performing a mambo.
Larry Gogel and his partner Uma Chaluvadi followed with a Rumba. Marvin and Greta were back again with a very cute West Coast Swing. David and Guna Rogers were up next with a lively Cha Cha. Suresh and Lauren Nair, who met at our dances and recently married, entertained us with a beautiful standard waltz. Our champions Roger and Amy Greenawalt finished our show with the romantic Bolero. Our dance exhibitions were scheduled from pm. No one was scheduled after us so we had plenty of time.
It was probably the busiest time of the day for shopping. The Artsgarden provided us with a large area to dance as well as a technician to play the music at no charge. David and Guna Rogers started off the show with a beautiful Rumba Guna had a great Latvian song selected for the routine.
Marvin and Greta Bechtel www. We also coaxed some of the audience members to come up and dance with us. I came along to help where needed and was asked to MC for the show. All the dancers had a great time, and the crowd seemed to have a great time as well. We have already reserved the Artsgarden for November 24th from pm.
Please come join us and have some fun too! Greeting from West Texas, more specifically El Paso. Speaking of dance, we had two wonderful formal dances this month. One a very special charity ball sponsored by local U. Border Patrol stations and the other was a celebration of National Ballroom Week sponsored by Desert Dancers chapter There were more than seven dozen dancers dressed in their finery. They danced and danced to music provided by a terrific DJ who played a great variety of music.
To give those tripping the light fantastic a chance to rest their tender tootsies, a raffle was held offering some fun prizes. Our celebration was preserved in time by a professional photographer, who was available for individual portraits. More events are in the works including our annual Christmas Ball. Talk About Spot Lights! The chapter has came a long way since instituting its programs at Riverside and Four Freedoms Park.
When we wanted to schedule dance performances we had to call on our affiliated dance studios for help. The Happy Feet Folks never quit. Indeed the Spirit of Dance brings happiness to all! Ballroom Dancing is Not for Sissies: An R-Rated Guide for Partnership I would absolutely recommend this book to anybody, not on the dance floor, but also in the eyes of many of those just dancers.
Dance partner, co-worker, mother, daughter, who have read their book. As the North American book reviews The language used in the book makes the principles and concepts very easy to follow and understand. There is humor scattered throughout the pages to keep the tone lighthearted and conversational. While the information is profound enough to be found in a college textbook, the way it is written makes it read more like a novel. These foundational concepts are discussed through a variety of dance scenarios that show the practical application and potential positive effects of applying these into our lives both on and off the dance floor.
Not only do Arthur and Elizabeth shine. Ballroom Dancing is Not for Sissies: An R-Rated Guide for Partnership is a guide for couples to increase trust in one another and improve their moves on the dance floor, and that these experiences will enrich the relationship both on the dance floor but in other areas of life.
Shawn is a Professor of Dance at BYU-Idaho where over students participate in all levels of ballroom courses each semester. If your membership is about to expire you will be forfeiting your access to membership privileges unless you renew. By re-activating your membership you will once again gain the distinction of belonging to a respected and nationally recognized dance organization. An organization that continues to improve the standing of all ballroom dancers be it social or competitive.
We think you do! These intangible benefits are truly the reasons why so many members continue to make USA Dance a part of their lives. Reward yourself today by renewing your USA Dance membership. You deserve it! The music was planned for the evening with care, In hopes that great dancers soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their seats, While they put in a movie and picked out some sweets. And mamma in her seatbelt, and I with my guide, Were starting a road trip with dancing in mind. We heard in the west there was cha-cha sublime, I stepped on the gas to get there in time.
We frequented banquets without worry or care And even had time for a black-tie affair. When, what to my wondering ears should I hear, But a desert event that was being held near. With a couple of dollars, though not very much, We helped out a charity with dancing and such. More rapid than eagles the dancers they steered, And we whistled, and shouted; by numbers we cheered! On, 20! On, 90! To the beat and the tempo! To the end of the hall! Now dance away! Dance away! Dance away all! We went to the car and buckled in with a click, For jambalaya in the South, we had to be quick. New dance forms are continually evolving, particularly in terms of self-expression, thanks in part to the groundbreaking work of Martha Graham, George Balanchine , Jerome Robbins , and their contemporaries.
For example, choreographer Mark Morris attempted to challenge preconceived notions, just as did his predecessors. He is perhaps best known for his work , L'Allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato, set to the Handel score. He also continued in the tradition established by Martha Graham of combining well-known composers and musicians with choreographers, working with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and composer Lou Harrison.
Modern dance seeks a social context, and even ballroom dancing, which has evolved as a sport in its own right, incorporates the dances popular in the nineteenth century, such as the waltz, foxtrot, and quickstep, with a contemporary pulse. In the latter part of the twentieth century and at the beginning of the twenty-first century, dance acquired a sense of athleticism and was touted for its health benefits. Dancing in clubs only increased in popularity with American youth; movements are centered in pelvic rotations, swiveling hips, bobbing heads, and stomping and sliding feet.
Popularized by the syncretic choreography of "boy bands" such as the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, popular dance was very much infused with the musical performance. The focus was as much on the music as on the choreography. Similarly, Oriental dance commonly known as "belly dancing" , square dancing, Latin rhythms such as the merengue and samba, and such popular forms as. Many popular films, including Dance with Me or Center Stage, also prompted an obsession with dance in modern culture. Dance in America is closely synonymous with everyday life, and is inspired by social and cultural issues.
Carbonneau, Suzanne. Cohen, Selma Jeanne. New York: Harper and Row, Garafola, Lynn. Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. New York: Oxford University Press, Parks, Gary. Riis, Thomas L. Washington, D. Some Methodists and Baptists Believed dancing to be a sin and threatened to excommunicate church members who attended balls or dancing schools. Antidance books written by ministers and moralists criticized wealthy Americans for spending too much time and money trying to outdo one another by giving lavish and ostentatious balls.
Dancing was criticized as being physically as well as morally unhealthy since dancers were thought to suffer from the exhaustion produced by dancing until late hours, the stale air of the ballroom, the general mental and physical overexcitement of the ball. Others, however, believed that dancing was a natural and instinctive pleasure not to be denied the young people of America. Daring New Steps. Early in the nineteenth century the introduction of the waltz and the polka known as round dances because of the circular pattern the dancers traced on the floor raised the eyebrows of ministers and dancing instructors alike.
It is rather vulgar I think. The polka was first danced in the United States at the National Theater in New York in May and was introduced into fashionable society that same year. Like the waltz, the polka was attacked for its alleged immorality. In England the prince consort had for bidden it to be danced in the presence of his wife, Queen Victoria.
Dancing masters. The popularity of the new round dances changed the role of dance instructors in the United States. Having understood themselves to be teachers of manners as well as of movement and rhythm, dance instructors found themselves reduced to teaching steps rather than deportment. According to the American Journal of Education , in some towns the dancing masters were better paid than the schoolteachers.
Dance performance in the United States was strongly influenced by European developments. Although some ballets had been performed in the United States in the colonial and early republican decades, interest in the ballet was galvanized in the late s and early s when a series of prominent European dancers toured the United States. Music Halls and Minstrelsy. After dance in Europe came to be regarded more and more as an element of music-hall entertainment than a classical artform. Dance performance thus lost some of its aesthetic respectability and prestige and became increasingly associated with the more unsavory aspects of theater culture, both in Europe and in the United states.
Although social dancing remained popular, performing as a dancer on stage became as socially and morally suspect as acting. At the same time stage dancing itself changed under American influences. Minstrel shows , for example, often featured cakewalking and other dances that white minstrels claimed to have learned from slaves in the South.
Very few black dancers achieved the kind of recognition that white dancers in blackface did, but one exception was William Henry Lane, known as Master Juba. In a series of widely published dance challenged in the s Lane repeatedly defeated John Diamond, considered the greatest white minstrel dancer, and in he traveled to Europe with an American troupe, the Ethiopian Minstrels, to perform at Vauxhall Gardens in London.
He died in while on tour in England. Joseph E. Between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries, European dance existed widely within different social contexts and groups. Admittedly, religious dance no longer existed, save for rare local examples such as "The Dance of the Six" El baile de los seises in the Seville cathedral, since the Roman Catholic Church had refused to integrate such practices into its rituals.
But secular dance, done as much as a ball as within the theater, underwent a deep renewal during this time, occupying a privileged place in court society. While the paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder suggest popular forms of dancing in the s, there is no evidence of this style of dance in technical or aesthetic treatises. What has been studied in the history of Western dance have been those dances reserved for social elites, from which blossomed what became known as belle danse based on noble style.
Western dance originated first and foremost in the Renaissance of fifteenth-century Italy and subsequently was favored by the leadership of the Council of Trent — and the Counter-Reformation. It became associated both with music and with poetry, becoming an indispensable element within sumptuous feasts organized to lionize princely patrons, and it developed its own masters and traditions of apprenticeship. These masters not only taught the rules of their art, but also shaped acclaimed styles of choreography to which monarchs and courtiers themselves danced.
The most renowned masters circulated chiefly between the great families in Mantua , Ferrara, Milan, and Florence, establishing a highly elaborated, refined, and stylized art that was a pleasure to dance and to see. These men wrote the first treatises on dance, books designed to serve both practice and theory. In the second half of the sixteenth century their work spread all over Europe , as their methods, styles, and terminology were adapted in new places, most prominently of all in France. Though the Valois had been accustomed to a more spontaneous form of dance, the court appropriated Italian practices in its own fashion.
In the course of the seventeenth century, French masters established a new style of dance that made noble carriage and deportment, elegance, and ease the standard for all people of quality. Moreover, with its emphasis on suppleness and agility, dance was closely linked with fencing, horsemanship, and indeed with military training in general. In a world where social success depended upon knowing how to comport oneself, the dance master was expected to teach his students appropriate attitude and gesture and thereby how to function on the highest levels of society.
Under Louis XIII ruled — and Louis XIV ruled — , it was indispensable for a man of quality to know how to dance, in order to participate in dignified fashion in the company of the king and his courtiers in the balls and the ballets. Born at the end of the Valois reign in the s, ballet de cour became central to Bourbon cultural leadership. Louis XIII used it as a seat of authority; Richelieu manipulated it as part of his new style of glorifying the monarch; and Louis XIV made it a centerpiece of his search for Europe-wide cultural prominence.
Indeed, ballet de cour spread in related forms to Savoy, England , the Netherlands , Sweden , and Russia. A transformation began in the dance when in Louis XIV withdrew from participating in it. Seventeenth-century choreographers applied the classicist outlook dominant in the court to notions of dancing with symmetry, equilibrium, clarity, and measure. The original restriction to men was dropped with the addition of women in French theatrical dance proceeded to spread all over Europe in the early eighteenth century as artists started dance companies and schools.
In England in the s there arose a new kind of theatrical dance called ballet d'action, or ballet pantomime, that would tell a story without words or singing. Such shows became diffused throughout the main theaters in Germany , Austria , Italy, Russia, and France during the second half of the eighteenth century.
Theatrical dance raised vigorous theoretical debates over claims that it rendered mimesis as an art of imitation in Aristotelian terms, as an interpretation of the totality of human experience. In the s ballet began to gain independence from opera. In London, Paris, and Vienna a ballet pantomime was given on its own after an opera, though usually it was on a related theme.
Owing to the mingling of pantomime and dance in this period, performers were required to be both mimes and dancers. From the Renaissance to the Enlightenment , dance was not simply a distraction. Created by masters, who were almost always musicians as well as dancers, it was closely linked to the musical idioms for which it was designed — dance genres such as the pavane, galliard, branle, courante, minuet, sara-band, chaconne, rigadoon, or contredanse.
Musicologists have in fact discovered that these idioms influenced many aspects of what went on in operatic and instrumental music of the eighteenth century. Cohen, Selma Jeanne, ed. International Encyclopedia of Dance. New York , Hilton, Wendy. Edited by Caroline Gaynor. Princeton, Lancelot, Francine. Paris, Negri, Cesare. Le gratie d'amore. Milan, ; reprint, New York , Rameau, Pierre. Reprint, New York , Translated by Cyril W.
Beaumont as The Dancing Master. London, Reprint, Brooklyn , N. Dance, like other forms of art, has treated the subject of death continually throughout history and will continue to be used as a vehicle to express human fascination with this eternal unanswered question. Rituals have surrounded the mystery of death from prehistoric times.
Repeated rhythmic movements become dance, and the solace of rocking and keening can be therapeutic. Funeral processions are an example of organized movement to music, expressive of grief. The aboriginal peoples of Australia sing and dance to evoke the clan totems of a dying man and two months after death dance again, recreating the symbolic animals to purify the bones and release the soul of the deceased. The Sagari dances are part of a cycle performed on the anniversary of a death on the islands of Melanesia, New Guinea. Dancing by a female shaman is an important element of Korean ceremonies to cleanse a deceased soul to allow it to achieve nirvana , closing the cycle of birth and rebirth.
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At Kachin, Upper Burma, funeral rites include dances to send back death spirits to the land of the dead. Dayals shamans of Pakistan fall into trances to imitate the spirits of the dead. In Africa the Kenga people perform Dodi or Mutu mourning dances on burial day. The Yoruba dance wearing a likeness of the deceased, and the Dogon of Mali perform masked dances to confront death and pass on traditions after death. The Lugbara people of Uganda and the Angas of northern Nigeria also include dance in their rituals surrounding death.
Mexico celebrates All Souls' Day with masked street dancers dressed in skeleton costumes. The Ghost Dance of the Plains Indians of North America reaffirms an ancestral tribal continuity and has recently been revived after prohibition by the U. The Danse Macabre Totentanz, or Dance of Death of the European Middle Ages was portrayed many times on the walls of cloistered cemeteries as a dance of linked hands between people of all levels of society and the skeletal figure of death.
These painted images were executed in a period of anxiety caused by the bubonic plague which swept the continent, killing a large percentage of the population. Twentieth-century dance has used death as the inspiration for many dance works; the most perennial is Mikhail Fokine's Le Cygne , commonly known as The Dying Swan. Created for the dancer Anna Pavlova to express the noble death struggle of a legendarily silent bird who only sang at death thus the idiomatic "swan song" , it remains in the repertory in twenty-first-century performances.
The great dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky set the shocking theme of a virgin dancing herself to death by violent, percussive movements as a sacrifice for a fecund harvest in prehistoric Russia , matching composer Igor Stravinky's iconclastic score for The Rite of Spring In post — World War I Germany , Mary Wigman , high priestess of ausdruckstanz the expressionistic modern dance style , used expressionist movement and masked ensembles to great effect in Totenmal , showing the devasting impact of death on society.
This work shows Death himself taking, in different ways, the people caught up in a war; in essence, only Death is the victor. The choreographer Martha Graham created Lamentation in , which is portrayed through minimal rocking movement, the anguish and despair of mourning. In this dance she retained a passive face, only rising once from a sitting position, her movements stretching the fabric of a jersey tube, yet producing a profound image of distraught motherhood.
The Mexican choreographer Guillermina Bravo treated the subject of death in several modern dance works, influenced by Mexico's folk traditions. In La Valse , George Balanchine , choreographer and director of the New York City Ballet, created an ominous image of death in the guise of a man dressed in black, offering a black dress and gloves to a young girl at a ball, thereby claiming a victim.
In Canada , choreographer James Kudelka exorcised the pain of his mother's death from cancer in his ballet In Paradism This piece shows the stresses placed on a dying person by family and friends, and the encounter with a guide nurse, priest, angel who leads the protagonist from denial to acceptance. In this work the dancers all wear skirts and roles are interchangeable, eliminating references to gender. Kudelka composed two other works, Passage and There Below , giving his vision of an afterlife.
The choreographer Edouard Lock projected prolongated films of the dancer Louise Lecavalier as an old woman on her deathbed in his piece 2 , showing her life cycle from childhood to death. Since the s many choreographers have responded to the AIDS acquired immunodeficiency syndrome epidemic by making deeply felt statements through dance.
After the death of his partner, Arnie Zane, choreographer Bill T. Jones used performers with terminal diseases who recounted their experiences confronting death in Still Here Maurice Bejart , choreographer and director of the Ballet du XXieme Siecle, after showing Ce que la mort me dit , a serene vision of death, presented an evening-long piece, Ballet For Life , in memory of the dancer Jorge Donn and the singer Freddie Mercury, both deceased from AIDS-related illnesses.
The list of dance works treating the subject of death is very long, and the symbolic figure of death appears in many choreographic works. Carmichael, Elizabeth. London: British Museum Press, Hodson, Millicent.
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Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, Huet, Michel, and Claude Savary. Dances of Africa. New York : Harry Abrams, Morgan, Barbara. Martha Graham : Sixteen Dances in Photographs. Vaucher, Andrea R. New York: Grove Press, Louis XIV, for example, asserted that dance provides the ideal bodily preparation for the warrior, imparting the agility and adeptness necessary for effective combat. The British sexologist Havelock Ellis identified dance as the consummate elaboration of the sexual impulse, evident in the behaviour of a wide variety of species.
The American choreographer Martha Graham described dance as the truthful expression of the psyche's deepest feelings, revealing through the body's movement the innermost impulses of the human soul. The dance anthropologist Joann Kealiinohomoku, having noted the marked differences in dictionary definitions of dance during the twentieth century, offered the following definition: Dance is a transient mode of expression, performed in a given form and style by the human body moving in space.
Dance occurs through purposefully selected and controlled rhythmic movements; the resulting phenomenon is recognized as dance both by the performer and the observing members of a given group. If dance has been construed as fulfilling a variety of expressive and social functions, histories of dance have likewise been structured around distinctive conceptions of dance, reflecting in both their organization and choice of subject matter specific notions of dance's meaning.
Dance, they assert, has evolved from sacred to profane, or from ritual to spectacle, or from communal play to individual discovery. What seems clear at the beginning of the twenty-first century is the historical and cultural specificity of each of these claims. The following comments, therefore, reflect this author's and this moment's assessment of dance's significance. For who can say how the meaning of dance might change for those who pass their time absorbed in the virtual technologies that the future promises to offer us? Dance provides a rare opportunity to experience body as both functional and symbolic.
Ideas generated by the dancing body can include images of physical identity, such as a body's characteristic postures, stances, or gestures, or they might include physical representations of thoughts, feelings, moods, intuitions, or impulses. Ideas issuing from the dancing body also consist in pronouncements about its nature — its shapes, its differentiation of body parts or regions, its rhythms, and its tensile qualities of motion — as it negotiates its surroundings and the force of gravity, and as it encounters other bodies.
Through the articulation of these ideas, dance both reproduces and generates key cultural values. Bodies engaged in dancing typically learn a dance — the orchestrated movement patterns known as the choreography — and they also learn to perform the dance, according to the criteria of proper performance of the movement patterns. Both the dance's choreography and performance resonate strongly with more general cultural concerns. Ballet , as practised in Europe and the US, emphasizes the abstract geometry of bodily form exploring the heights and extensions the body can achieve both on the floor and in the air.
It constructs unique roles for male and female performers who work together to create a unified whole. Ballet recognizes a hierarchy of skills and physical prowess, and commemorates that hierarchy in the arrangements of soloists and corps de ballet. At the same time, the dancers are asked to mask the extraordinary labour entailed by their bodily elevations, and to make their jumps, balances, and turns appear effortless. In contrast, the West African dance repertoire elaborates a vital connection to earth.
Its dances display the capacity of the body to engage in multiple rhythmic patterns simultaneously and to move among different rhythmic structures. It also offers opportunities for improvised dialogue between dancers and musicians. The large number of dances in this tradition, performed at a range of social and religious occasions, provide numerous opportunities for non-professional dancers to participate. In each of these cultural contexts, dance works to illuminate attitudes toward the body and to exemplify patterns of physicalized sociability through which all bodies relate.
Many dance forms require extensive bodily training in order to attain competence at performance. Pedagogies of dance training typically engage the body in extended repetition of movement sequences. These exercises may be taken directly from specific dances or they may consist of sequences that are especially designed to enhance flexibility, strength, endurance, co-ordination, dexterity, or other physical attributes deemed necessary for successful performance.
Each of these training programmes produces a body with distinct capacities and limitations. In ballet, exercises develop the musculature so as to construct ideal lines for arms, legs, and torso, which the choreography then displays. In West African dance, practice is required to learn rhythmic acuity and to extend the body's endurance and its capacity to articulate complex rhythms.
For Tongan choreography, dancers work to acquire an articulateness of hands and arms, and a cordial relationship between gesturing appendages and central body, in keeping with the overall aesthetic demands of that form. Bodily competence in each of these forms is highly distinctive, and only rarely can a dancer adapt the training from one tradition for use in a different form.
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Through the process of learning to dance, the body is made over into the kind of medium of expression required for a given dance form. The dancer extends and alters the body's physical capacities, and, also, the dancer develops a new symbolic conception of body, of what and how it means. The early modern dancer Isadora Duncan established the diaphragm as the central source of bodily movement and as the place that connected body with soul. In contrast, the Argentine tango locates bodily centre and the source of movement in the constantly changing interplay between male and female partners.
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The eighteenth-century ballet theorist Jean Georges Noverre asserted that the face provided a window onto the soul, but that the bottom of the foot offered the key to balance and postural alignment. Dance training inculcates the symbolic interpretation of body as well as the patterned movement responses required by a given form. As these examples demonstrate, there are as many distinct conceptions of body and mappings of bodily meaning as there are dance forms. Dance provides a vision of what it is to be a body for those who watch it, and an experience of being a body for those who do it.
Dance connects this corporeal identity to subjectivity and sociality, so that the dancing body achieves a locatedness in relation to self and others. Dance's transcendent power stems, in part, from just this ability to synthesize physicality with individual, gendered, ethnic, and social identities. At the same time, dance places this experience of identity in motion so that the dancing body comprehends the transitoriness of each moment and its changing relation to the flux of the world. Susan Foster. A social activity that takes on a multitude of forms within sacred and everyday contexts in Middle Eastern societies.
One of the earliest documents of Middle Eastern expressive arts is the multivolume tome written by Abu Faraj al-Isfahan in the tenth century, Kitab al-Aghrani The book of songs , which indicates that the realm of the arts has always been highly cosmopolitan. Various courts had ethnically and religiously diverse dance troupes that regularly accompanied musicians. Their participation was considered a necessary element in creating tarab — the joy that is felt by performers and audience members during musical events.
Far from being merely a pastime, dance in the Middle East carries heavy symbolic meaning. Although some Middle Eastern communities adhere closely to interpretations of religious texts that warn against the carnal aspects of music and dance, other communities cannot conceive of celebrating life's important moments without music and its byproduct, dance. In the Middle East , one's ability to dance can signify a number of things.
In some countries such as Morocco, for example, a woman's dance style is read as a text from which spectators make assumptions about her personality: If she shows little interest in dancing at a wedding, others may conclude that she is not sincere in her happiness for the union of the couple, or that she is not fun-loving. Small flourishes taken from international pop stars and included in one's own locally based repertoire speak volumes about taste and the cultural influences absorbed through media.
Sources such as Isfahan's indicate that women have been performers as long as there has been music and dance, but female performers have often been stigmatized. Although displaying a talent for dance among family and friends is desirable and in some cases required, dancing as a profession is often discouraged, and paid performers are not always accorded high social status. Most mainstream communities in the Middle East attach a great deal of importance to dance as a necessary component to any significant celebration.
Although traditions vary from region to region, dance may be present at engagement ceremonies, weddings, births and naming ceremonies, seasonal harvests, holidays both national and religious , festivals, and circumcisions, not to mention the dayto-day visits among close friends and family that are common among women. Some religious scholars very deliberately delineate the boundaries between sacred and profane contexts, but patterned bodily movement may occur as well during Sufi dhikr ceremonies, visits to saints' shrines, and local religious ceremonies that may blend Islamic and pre-Islamic syncretic elements.
In many instances there is an overlap between Christian, Jewish, and Muslim celebratory practices, as these communities have lived side by side for many centuries and have imparted their individual artistic expression to other faith groups. Created after the first Gulf War , the festival featured music and arts from around the world in order to underscore the common features of shared traditions. Such world music festivals are sites of great innovation and provide impetus for the cultural preservation and reinvention of traditions.
Among the better-known forms of dance in the Middle East are the hora, the debka, and Israeli dance, which blend the cultural traditions of the various ethnic groups living in Israel. These dance traditions are done in groups and reinforce familial and community bonds rather than showcase an individual dancer's skill. The debka also, dabka , is performed on joyous occasions in Greater Syria. Dancers traditionally, young men join hands in an open circle and move slowly in step to drum-beats. The steps become faster at specific intervals, with intermittent bounces.
The dancers are usually accompanied by a single dancer waving a cloth or a stick. A modified version may be performed by a new husband and wife at their wedding celebration. Similar styles of dance occur in Turkey as well. The debka is originally an Arab dance, but Israelis have created many versions of it that are performed at Israeli national festivals.
Emigrants from the Middle East take their dance traditions with them, and many Middle Eastern dance groups exist outside the region. Many Israeli composers have written music using the rhythm of the Hora. Because the Balkans were once Ottoman territories, similar forms of dance exist in many regions of Turkey.
Turkey's preservation of pre-Ottoman Turkish culture spawned a national interest in folkloric dance genres that still thrives today. Jews moving to Palestine during the twentieth century brought with them a variety of folk dances of national and local origin, including the dances of Yemenite Jews and Hasidim, and the hora, which became Israel's national dance. Dancing, with a strong folk emphasis, is a popular recreation on kibbutzim in Israel. Raqs Sharqi, or belly dancing, was made famous in the Middle East and beyond primarily through Egyptian television.
There are many variations of belly dancing throughout the Middle East, but all share an emphasis on rythmically moving the stomach, pelvis, and hips. The range of movement depends on the individual dancer's ability, and can be done casually among friends or in entertainment settings with elaborate costumes and acrobatic flourishes. Kapchan, Deborah. Lynch, David.
Racy, Ali Jihad. Music in the Genius of Arab Civilization, 2d edition. Stokes, Martin. Oxford, U. Sugarman, Jane C. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Van Nieuwkerk, Karin. Austin: University of Texas Press, Dancing developed as a natural expression of united feeling and action.
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The Origins of Dance The earliest history of human dance is a continuing mystery. From the evidence of illustrated ceramic fragments, some archaeologists have speculated that dance originated some 5, to 9, years ago in early agricultural cultures located in a swath running from modern Pakistan to the Danube basin. Others, however, have expressed caution regarding the reconstruction of social behavior from such sources.
Speculation aside, specific knowledge of prehistoric dances is lacking, and thus many experts have extrapolated dance history from the preserved ritual dances of various preliterate societies. Ritualistic and Ceremonial Dance Native American dances illustrate most of the purposes of dance that is of a ritualistic or ceremonial nature: the war dance, expressing prayer for success and thanksgiving for victory; the dance of exorcism or healing, performed by shamans to drive out evil spirits; the dance of invocation, calling on the gods for help in farming, hunting, the fertility of human beings and animals, and other tribal concerns; initiation dances for secret societies; mimetic dances, illustrating events in tribal history, legend, or mythology; dances representing cosmic processes; and, more rarely, the dance of courtship, an invocation for success in love.
The dance of religious ecstasy, in which hypnotic or trancelike states are induced a characteristic phenomenon of Southeast Asia and Africa , was represented in America by the remarkable Ghost Dance. Native American dancing is always performed on the feet, but in many islands of the Pacific and in Asia some of the dances are performed in a sitting posture, with only the hands, arms, and upper parts of the body used. Ancient Egyptian dances, often of a religious character, were derived from earlier African forms.
In Greece the choral dance in honor of Dionysus played a part in the development of the drama and in religious worship. Many early religious or celebratory dances have survived in the folk dance of modern times. In India dance and drama have usually been related, both generally having religious significance. An elaborate code of movements of the arms and hands mudras , expressive use of the face and especially of the eyes, and a sinuous posturing of the body are important features of Indian classical dancing, among the best-known examples being Kathakali and the Bharata Natyam, both of S India.
The early dances of Japan, probably influenced by ancient Chinese forms, became institutionalized with the establishment of a national school of dancing in the 14th cent. Soon the dance became associated with the famous No drama see Asian drama. Secular dances are performed by the geisha. The Development of Dance in Europe In medieval Europe the repeated outbreaks of dance mania, a form of mass hysteria sometimes caused by religious frenzy and usually associated with epidemics of bubonic plague, are reflected in the allegory of the dance of death see Death, Dance of.
Dancing as a social activity and a form of entertainment is of relatively recent origin. During the Middle Ages , especially in France, dancing was a feature of the more enlightened and convivial courts. Some medieval dances, such as the volta, precursor of the waltz, became the sources of modern dance steps. In the 16th cent.
The ballet first appeared in Italian courts in the 16th cent. Among the formal dances of the 17th cent. Music, which had developed to accompany dancing, had, by this time, evolved many forms and rhythms no longer associated with the dance. French dances made their way to England in the 17th cent. Popular national dances include the mazurka and polonaise from Poland; the czardas from Hungary; the fandango , bolero , seguidilla, and flamenco from Spain; the tarantella and saltarello from Italy; the waltz and galop from Germany; the polka and schottische from Bohemia; the strathspey and Highland fling from Scotland; the hornpipe from England; and the jig from Ireland.
Dance in the Americas The United States initiated the barn dance, Virginia reel, clog dance, cakewalk, and Paul Jones in the 19th cent. The popularity of jazz in the early s produced a number of new social dances, of which the most popular was the charleston. From South America came the Argentine tango and the Brazilian maxixe and samba; from Cuba, the rumba, conga, and mambo.
Tap dancing and ballroom and adagio dancing have won wide popularity as entertainment and have been featured frequently in musical stage shows and movies. See also modern dance. Bibliography See L. Kirstein, Book of the Dance rev. Sachs, World History of the Dance tr. Sorell, The Dance through the Ages ; A.