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Dance

DANCE.

Dance is broadly conceived as physical movement organized into patterns in time and space. Writings on dance grounded in the European intellectual tradition have tended to distinguish dance from other systems of organized movement (such as sport, military drills, synchronized labor, festival processions, and sometimes ritual) by identifying a dimension of conscious craft or artistry. The discipline of anthropology has shown that this distinction is not universal by investigating how organized human movement functions in different cultures, as well as how it relates to music, theater, pantomime, storytelling, and other kinds of performative behavior.

Dance in Intellectual Traditions

The idea of dance varies within intellectual traditions. Two ancient treatises serve as examples. Where ideas are treated as a function of language, and knowledge is derived from analysis of phenomena, the body is often written out of epistemological projects. Aristotle's Poetics (fourth century b.c.e.), for example, analyzes the plot structure, poetry, and ethical issues presented by fifth-century Athenian tragedies. The Poetics mentions only briefly the physical movement of the tragic chorus as a contributor to the effect (emotional or intellectual) of a theatrical experience or as a component in knowledge. In contrast, where cognitive processes, observation, and abstract thinking include bodily experience, physical movement is thought to generate and represent abstract concepts. The body and corporeal experience have a more prominent place in the formation of ideas. The Indian treatise Natyasastra (c. second century b.c.e. to second century c.e.), describes in meticulous detail how correct performance of hand gestures, eye movements, posture, steps, coordination with music, and posture will affect an audience's comprehension of the narrative and its meaning.

The Poetics and Natyasastra both assume dance to be inseparable from the performance of music, theater, poetry, and dress (including masks and makeup). Both treatises also assume that performance takes place in a ritual context, where form and content are already dictated by established conventions. Even so, the relationship between movement, emotion, and cognition is conceptualized differently in each treatise, which suggests the need for continued attention to the intellectual formulations that define the interpretation of human movement.

Until relatively recently, dance has been on the margins of the modern Western intellectual tradition. Dance appears as an object of study in two particular domains of modern Western thought: aesthetic criticism and anthropology. Aesthetic criticism, emerging in eighteenth-century dictionary projects and then taking root in nineteenth-century philosophy parallel with the development of the romantic ballet, considers dance to be an artistic practice. As performance, dance is distinguished from folk, social, or ceremonial dancing (though it may represent them) and requires formal training. The idea of dance as a formalized performance tradition is usually associated with industrial economies, urban societies, and a culture's economically secure or educated classes. Appreciation of technical mastery and performance conventions is considered evidence of cultural sophistication or artistic sensibility; meaning is communicated primarily in the visual realm of symbolic representation, mimesis, and technique. Dance criticism is an intellectual project involving analysis of choreography, performers' skill, aesthetic conventions, historical developments in dance styles, innovations in genre, and the success of performances.

Aesthetic Criticism and Analysis of Culture

In dance practice, at the beginning of the twentieth century Sergey Diaghilev's (18721929) experimental productions with the Ballets Russes famously challenged the aesthetic sensibilities of classical ballet by introducing parallel feet, ambiguous story lines, a lowered center of gravity, and representation of "primitive" cultures. The creation of new forms of art dance, such as expressionistic modern dance in Europe after World War I and Butoh in Japan after World War II, deliberately defied ballet's conventions of beauty but stayed within the domain of artistic performance. Aesthetic criticism accounted for and dealt with the creation of new dance genres. The purpose of aesthetic criticism remains a greater understanding of established and new dance styles, choreography (recorded in notation systems such as Labanotation), individual performances, and criteria on which stage performances can be evaluated.

The emergence of anthropology as a scientific discipline in the mid-nineteenth century, parallel with aesthetic criticism's elevation of dance as an art form and tensions in experimentation with the form, expanded a Western idea of dance to non-Western cultures and societies, often treating dance practices as folk traditions. Franz Boas (18581942), A. R. Radcliffe-Brown (18811955), and E. E. Evans-Pritchard (19021973) included social dancing, ceremonies, and rituals in their field studies. Curt Sachs's World History of the Dance (English translation, 1937) offered an evolutionary and universalizing theory of world dance forms and was followed by Franziska Boas's collection, The Function of Dance in Human Society (1944). Though guided by the scientific commitment to objectivity and evaluation of empirical data, early anthropological studies interpreted dances from non-Western cultures as less aesthetically developed than those on the European stages and presented the dance traditions of North Africa, the Middle East, India, Asia, and the Americas as more primitive forms of dance. The images provided by early anthropologists were reproduced as artifacts of exotic cultures in World's Fair exhibits and romanticized in exoticized, popular stage performances such as those of Ruth St. Denis (18791968) and Ted Shawn (18911972).

Since the 1960s and 1970s, this early anthropological work on dance has been significantly revised. The idea of dance, expanded to the broader notion of movement practices, allows for greater attention to the categories that define movement systems within individual cultures, nations, or societies, as well as for comparative studies. For anthropology and its related disciplines (folklore, ethnomusicology, ethnology, and ethnography), aspects of culture are revealed in dance practices. These disciplines also look at dancing itself as a culturally constructed activity that offers information about human behavior and, by extension, culture. These interrelated disciplines, along with methods drawn from sociology, kinesthetics, and linguistics, operate with a heightened sensitivity to the imposition of Western values and desires on non-Western, indigenous, or nonindustrial cultures.

Awareness of Western ethnocentric tendencies in dance research generated different categories of analysis and new questions. Researchers began to work toward a deeper understanding of the language, customs, social structures, and modes of thinking governing localized "dance events" before attempting to interpret them. Adrienne L. Kaeppler's work on Tongan dance in the late 1970s did much to advance the study of structured human movement in a specific cultural context. In the late 1980s Paul Stoller advocated the importance of a sensual dimension in ethnographic work. Major contributors to the assessment and development of anthropological approaches to human movement in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and into the 1990s include Gertrude Prokosch Kurath, Anya Peterson Royce, Helen Thomas, and Judith Lynne Hanna.

The treatment of dance as a social practice and a form of expressive culture goes beyond descriptions of local customs, ceremonies, and movement idioms. Through proscribed methods of observation, data collection, documentation, interviewing, participant observation, and interpretation of data, these methods analyze how human movement relates to culture. Many studies analyze the function and meanings of dances or dancing in situated contexts. Others track changes in the performance and interpretation of dance styles such as the tango, rumba, samba, flamenco, and hula as they are transmitted across cultures, including in the inquiry of the mechanisms of transmission. Still other studies are concerned with visual and kinesthetic communication, or how dance communicates as a kind of language. Behaviors surrounding a dance performance, such as audience participation and dancers' preparation, may be as important as the performance itself. Religious beliefs, political restrictions, integration of dance with other performance forms, and vocabularies used by practitioners to describe movement are all significant to interpreting data gathered in fieldwork.

Theory and Praxis

In the 1990s and into the twenty-first century, the critical concerns of feminism, postmodernism, poststructuralism, new historiography, cultural studies, semiotics, race and ethnic studies, and queer theory have brought to light a wide range of issues that remain crucial in studies of dance and human movement systems, namely, how dance constructs or challenges gender and sexuality, how dance practices negotiate power relations, the effects of colonialism and cultural imperialism on dance practices, exoticization of cultural "others," institutionalization of dance practices, how dance is used to demonstrate cultural or ethnic difference, cultural ownership and authenticity of dance idioms, dance as a display of national identity, dance in marketing and tourism, the effects of stylistic hybridity on individual or group identities, performers' agency, multiple meanings in complex symbol systems, how dance practices link to social class, dance as a means of building ideological consensus, and dance as a medium of resistance and social change.

The work of scholars such as Jane Cowan, Cynthia J. Novack, Ann Daly, Sally Ann Ness, Jane C. Desmond, and Susan Leigh Foster has opened interdisciplinary territory in the effort to address these and other issues in the study of human movement in culture and as a means of cultural production. Their theoretical work has broken down the notion that Western art forms are a model of aesthetic progress. Studies of female dancers in Egypt and Morocco in the 1990s, for example, have used methods from sociology to examine performance in social conditions that define both dance and dancer. More recent attention to these concerns through ethnographic methods has shown how social control was exercised in the costuming, movements, songs, and visual spectacle in women's dances at rallies for political candidates in Malawi.

Methods of inquiry rooted in anthropology take aesthetic conventions as culturally determined rather than as marks of progress or as by-products of modernity. Aesthetics can thus serve as an entry point, whether the project is to understand culture through human movement, or human movement through culture. Applying anthropological methods to the aesthetics of classical ballet reveals, for example, that control of the body and individuality against uniformity are Western values. Cross-cultural comparisons of ballet's reception as scandalous in non-Western cultures, in contrast, show how ballet performs a desire to expose and transcend the body in contrast to local movement practices that value a body's individuality and are grounded in everyday activities. Joann Kealiinohomoku's (1983) work on ballet as ethnic dance has been followed by studies of ballet's adaptation in non-Western cultures and of how ballet choreography structures desire in its narratives.

Information made available through anthropological approaches has also led to popular appropriations of local dance forms within new cultural or social contexts. National dance troupes, such as Ballet Folklórico de México, present indigenous social dances as commercial art with aesthetic aims, often with an educational mission. Ceremonial, ritual, and communal dances may be taken out of context, adapted for the stage, and performed as a recuperation or preservation of "traditional" cultures. Scholars have interrogated the affected aesthetics, claims to national identity, and cross-cultural mis-interpretations at work in such performances. While dance forms identified with specific cultures are staged for international audiences, the same dance forms might be reinterpreted and invested with new meaning within the home culture. Kathak and Bharata Natyam as popular dance practices in India, for example, have been analyzed as resistance to the colonial legacy and as recuperation of the precolonial past. Such analyses show how adaptations of traditional dances within a culture can be used to define national, cultural, or class identity.

Reciprocity between theory and practice is evident in other areas as well. By the mid-twentieth century, ethnic fusion forms such as Afro-Cuban-jazz combined Western dance styles with those of other cultures, sometimes raising issues of cultural authenticity and appropriation. Dance forms identified with ethnicity within a dominant culture, for example African-American dance, have been analyzed as distinct and unique and, conversely, as in the process of adapting or challenging movement idioms from the dominant culture. Contemporary Western "belly dance" has been shown to remain deeply bound to nineteenth-century European Orientalist fantasies.

Dance as Experience

Though their methods, goals, and objects of inquiry differ, both aesthetic criticism and anthropology deal at some level with the fundamental question: What is being communicated, to whom, and how? This disciplinary imperative takes the human body as an agent of communication in an interpretive community or as an embodied subject acted upon by social forces. The psychological experience of dancing is generally irrelevant to aesthetic criticism's analysis of dance as a visible medium and tangential to research grounded in kinesthetics or linguistics (though audience response can be analyzed). Beyond Romanticism and notions of the sublime in art in the Western philosophical tradition, phenomenology has offered the most appropriate frame for the ephemeral qualities of human movement, as Maxine Sheets-Johnstone demonstrated in 1966. First-person descriptions of movement as a conduit for spiritual or metaphysical experience are, however, not easily adapted to Western modes of thinking and analysis, even in studies of mainstream liturgical dance.

Paranormal experiences, dissociational states, expressions of deep inner feelings, mystical experiences, and intense emotion generated by participating in a dance are usually associated with non-Western, nonindustrial, or indigenous cultures. Movement practices that produce such experiences are identified by terms such as shamanic dancing, trance dancing, exorcism, healing dance, voodoo, spirit possession, and ritual dance. In the Western stage dance tradition, such states may be represented in artistic performance, as with the expressionist choreography of Mary Wigman (18861973). Numerous dance forms in Western popular culture, for example Gabrielle Roth's "Ecstatic Dance," the appropriation of African dances as "healing dance," and so-called "spiritual belly dance" do emphasize altered states of consciousness and/or physical healing. Such practicesespecially those that identify with practices of nonindustrial or non-Western cultures in their costuming, symbols, stories, and idiomsoffer rich sources for cultural analyses. Though some work has been done to integrate experiences of altered states of consciousness into scholarly discourse, this area requires attention.

As suggested by the example of how the ancient Greek Poetics and Sanskrit Natyasastra frame dance, understandings of human movement are not uniform across cultures. In the early twenty-first century, collaboration among researchers from different intellectual traditions reveals differences in research methods, modes of interpretation, analytical vocabularies, descriptive categories, and goals in dance research. International conferences such as the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) and the World Dance Association (WDA) insure that ongoing research will reflect a diversity of intellectual as well as movement systems.

See also Anthropology ; Cultural Studies ; Ethnography ; Theater and Performance .

bibliography

Buckland, Theresa J., ed. Dance in the Field: Theory, Methods, and Issues in Dance Ethnography. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.

Cowan, Jane K. Dance and the Body Politic in Northern Greece. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990.

Daly, Ann. Critical Gestures: Writings on Dance and Culture. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 2002.

Desmond, Jane C, ed. Meaning in Motion: New Cultural Studies of Dance. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press 1997.

Dils, Ann, and Ann Cooper Albright, eds. Moving History/ Dancing Cultures: A Dance History Reader. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 2001.

Foster, Susan Leigh, ed. Choreographing History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.

Fraleigh, Sondra Horton, and Penelope Hanstein, eds. Researching Dance: Evolving Methods of Inquiry. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999.

Hanna, Judith Lynne. Dance, Sex and Gender: Signs of Identity, Dominance, Defiance, and Desire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988.

Kaeppler, Adrienne L. "Dance in Anthropological Perspective." Annual Review of Anthropology 7 (1978): 3149.

Kealiinohomoku, Joann. "An Anthropologist Looks at Ballet as a Form of Ethnic Dance." In What Is Dance? Readings in Theory and Criticism, edited by Roger Copeland and Marshall Cohen, 533549. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983.

Kurath, Gertrude Prokosch. "Panorama of Dance Ethnology." Current Anthropology 1 (1960): 233254.

Ness, Sally Ann. Body, Movement and Culture: Kinesthetic and Visual Symbolism in a Philippine Community. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992.

Novack, Cynthia Jean. Sharing the Dance: Contact Improvisation and American Culture. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990.

Royce, Anya Peterson. The Anthropology of Dance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1977.

Sheets-Johnstone, Maxine. The Phenomenology of Dance. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1966.

Spencer, Paul, ed. Society and the Dance: The Social Anthropology of Process and Performance. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Thomas, Helen. Dance, Modernity, and Culture: Explorations in the Sociology of Dance. New York: Routledge, 1995.

Donnalee Dox

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Dance

Dance

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dance, or the human body making rhythmic patterns in time and space for a purpose transcending utility, has been approached by anthropologists as one aspect of human behavior inextricably bound up with all those aspects that constitute what we call culture. Early ethnographers attended to dance as an adjunct to ritual or as an accompaniment to leisure social activities. Contemporary scholars examine it as belonging to the more general category of embodied knowledge. Their scope extends to classical performance traditions, modern popular forms, and communally embedded traditional dance.

Throughout human history, dance has always elicited powerful responseson one hand, it has been banned, feared, seen as a corrupting influence, criticized for its sexual nature, and anathema to those who privilege the mind; on the other, dance has been praised for its ability to entertain, viewed as the essential element in rituals of healing, transformation from one state to another, and thanksgiving, and as ordered movement, a symbol of a cosmic great chain of being. Through its performance by the human body and its ability to elicit a kinesthetic response in performer and viewer alike, it becomes elemental. Its universality across cultures is equaled by the strength of human responses to it, in which there appears to be no neutral position. Anthropologist Maurice Bloch, in his influential 1974 article, argues for the language of song, dance, and music as a special form of assertion toward which no argument is possible. Whatever meanings are encoded in these forms, the listener or viewer may only agree or disagree. There is no dialogue possible.

The medium of dance, composed by individuals and embodied by other individuals, creates meanings that are polysemous and multivocalic. The choreographer of a piece or a ritual may have one message to convey, the performers other interpretations, and the audience yet other understandings. This quality compounds the difficulties faced by scholars who wish to understand how and why dance occupies the position it does in society. Dance can be viewed for its formal aspects, its meanings or content, or for the relationships it has to its larger social context. In the history of American anthropology, the last approach has been the most popular. The reasons for this have to do with an implicit hierarchy of ethnographic areas of inquiry with the arts being relegated to the least central to understanding society. Even within the arts, visual arts have always been favored, perhaps because they are easier to document, unlike performing arts, whose products are ephemeral. Secondly, dance is notoriously hard to observe, record, and analyze. A focus on who participates in dance and how it functions within society made dance seem like other social categories. Early descriptions paid minimal attention to form, preferring the safer ground of functional analysis.

Ironically, French anthropologist Marcel Mauss (1872-1950) had no such hesitation in exploring the body in motion. In his article Body Techniques (1934), he examined body actions in ordinary life, relating them to expectations about gender, about practice, and about habits of the body. His definition of techniques of the bodyhighly developed body actions that embody aspects of a given culturewas the foundation for Pierre Bourdieus (1930-2002) habitus, a notion that has influenced much of contemporary social science.

American anthropologist Franz Boas (1858-1942) acknowledged dance as a universal human phenomenon and, in the case of the Kwakiutl of the northwest coast of North America, as an essential part of their culture, but he found the form of dance more difficult to describe than visual arts, house types, music, or kinship systems. He was one of the first, however, to use film to record dance. Although the first system for notating was published in 1588 (Orchesographie by Thoinot Arbeau), it would not be until the 1930s, when Hungarian dancer Rudolf von Laban (1879-1958) created a dance and movement notation based on universal and arbitrary symbols, that it was possible to make an adequate record of dance that might be a basis for formal analysis. Labans system, labanotation, and its offshoot, effort-shape notation, revolutionized the way in which dance is described and preserved. While most dance ethnographers prefer their own shorthand systems, supplemented by film, for field research, these two notation systems prove invaluable for both structural analyses of dance as well as for permanent records. European folklorists and ethnomusicologists were much quicker than their American counterparts to document such formal aspects of dance as steps, choreography, movement patterns, and floor plans. They were also quicker to use labanotation and effort-shape in their work (Royce 1977).

Attention to the formal aspects of dance did not occur in the United States until dancers trained as anthropologists entered the field. Katherine Dunham (19092006), who worked in Haiti and the Caribbean, and Pearl Primus (1919-1994), who examined West African dance and its American forms, approached their subject as dancers and as anthropologists. As dancers, they were comfortable with the dance itself, settling it in their own bodies. As anthropologists, they documented its purpose in those societies they studied. Both women ultimately focused on theatrical performance as a way of bringing the richness of African diasporic cultures to the widest possible audience. Regarded as performers rather than as scholars, their important work was largely ignored.

Gertrude P. Kurath (1903-1992), a dancer with degrees in music, drama, and art history, was initially more successful. Invited by anthropologist Sol Tax (1907-1995) to write an article on dance ethnology for the first issue of Current Anthropology, Kurath defined and laid out the shape of research on dance within American anthropology. Sound research on dance, she wrote, could only be done by dancers who have achieved the insight and point of view of the ethnologist, or by musicians and ethnologists with dance training (Kurath 1960, p. 247). This, indeed, has been the pattern, with dance-trained anthropologists forming the majority of dance scholars. Kurath herself documented dance in cultures as widely separated as the American Southwest, Mexico, eastern and southern Europe, and ancient Mesoamerica, as well as Iroquois dance. Her most long-lasting contributions to the anthropology of dance have been her meticulous ethnographic description, and her development and use of a notation system easily learned and easily understood by readers. Kuraths superb monograph, Music and Dance of the Tewa Pueblos (written with Antonio Garcia, 1970) provided ethnographer Jill Sweet a foundation on which to trace the trajectory of Tewa dance. Sweet, with forty years of involvement with the Tewa, published a second edition of her book Dances of the Tewa Pueblo Indians in 2004. Most significantly, she included the voices of Tewa themselves, who reflect on the continuities and disjunctures of their dance.

In the late 1960s and 1970s, a small group of anthropologists elaborated different approaches to dance within anthropology. Adrienne Kaeppler used linguistic analysis to explore the structure of Tongan dance. Drid Williams argued for a linguistic approach based on transformational grammar. Judith Lynne Hanna, working initially with West African and African diasporic dance, employed communications theory as a way to examine dance. Joann Kealiinohomoku took the work of Boas and Melville Herskovits (1895-1963) in new directions, looking at dance holistically as performed by the biological, language-using, social, culturally embedded human being. Anya Peterson Royce weighed the merits of historic, comparative, symbolic, and structural approaches to dance as an aspect of human society. The early contributions of these scholars to the emergence of the anthropology of dance as a scientific field of inquiry is the subject of a 2005 volume, Anthropologie de la Danse (Anthropology of Dance). Its editors, Andrée Grau and Georgiana Wierre-Gore, included important European scholars whose work is both fundamental and provocative. These include Rodryk Lange, John Blacking, György Martin, Ernô Pesovár, Anca Giurchescu, and Egil Bakka.

Since the 1980s, dance scholars have kept pace with the discourse of anthropology as it has dealt with issues such as borders and boundaries, postcolonial societies, exile and appropriation, gender, power and agency, the articulation of us and them, and not least, an embodied anthropology of the senses. The tango and the samba provided a multivocalic point of entry into matters of exile, identity, agency, and embodied memory and action for three anthropologists and their work: Barbara Brownings Samba: Resistance in Motion (1995), Marta Saviglianos Tango and the Political Economy of Passion (1995), and Julie Taylors Paper Tangos (1998). All three authors capture what it means to be embodied in the dance, and communicate it in their writing. Browning writes of the way in which the dancing body communicates as a complex speaking of the body. Savigliano, an Argentine herself, describes the tango from the inside out in words that allow the reader not only to see the dance but also to feel it. Taylor, who lived in Argentina for more than twenty years, takes us beyond the observable steps into the meanings deep in the dancers bodies, and does so in language that situates the reader in the tango itself. Taylor and Savigliano speak eloquently and powerfully to the issues of exile and appropriation, the recombination of old stereotypes with new territories, and introspection and memory in the face of political terror. These key themes in contemporary anthropology gain new significance from their embodied treatment.

Brownings important contribution is to speak of the agency in the body, especially the danced body. She writes, the insistence of Brazilians to keep dancing is not a means of forgetting but rather a perseverance, an unrelenting attempt to intellectualize, theorize, understand a history and a present of social injustice (Browning 1995, p. 167). The active, creative, and creating body in dance is the subject of studies by Susan Leigh Foster in her perceptive commentaries on theory, by Cynthia Novack (1947-1996), who examined contact improvisation and American culture, and by Kazuko Yamazaki, who describes changing Japanese notions about the gendered body and its implications for innovation in dance.

The nuanced complexities of cultural perceptions and the social manipulations of dance and embodied movement have been the focus of several recent studies. Tw o of those are Jennifer Neviles The Eloquent Body: Dance and Humanist Culture in Fifteenth-Century Italy (2004) and Anne Décoret-Ahihas Les Danses Exotiques en France, 1880-1940 (2004). Nevile discusses the moral divide between the noble dances of the Italian court and the graceless dances of the peasants. Dancing masters, and the court humanists who were the arbiters of intellectual and moral engagement, molded their pupils bodies into the ordered, virtuous symbols of nobility. The peasantry, in contrast, were divorced from any philosophical foundations of morality, their dances therefore reflecting that lack in their sensual formlessness (Nevile 2004, pp. 2-3).

Décoret-Ahiha contrasts nineteenth-century French popular dance with popular dance between 1900 and 1940. Both periods were fascinated with the exotic, but how exotic was defined differed. Nineteenth-century exoticism in the form of worlds fairs and ethnological exhibits found a welcome audience of people who flocked to see these primitive and strange peoples and customs. At the beginning of the twentieth century, exotic dance dominated the music hall scene and drawing rooms. This shifted as artists and companies from all over the world made their way to Paris. Sergei Diaghilevs (1872-1929) Ballets Russes, with its lush ballets on Oriental themes and works that evoked the Russian soul, was one such company. The authors interest lies in the discourses produced by these periods of fascination with the exotic and their impact on society and on the dance itself. Hers is a richly textured commentary that enriches our notion of the exotic other.

Anthropology of dance has expanded its scope to include studies of form as well as meaning, Western and non-Western dance, historic and contemporary phenomena, classical forms as well as popular or traditional dance, comparative and cross-genre performance traditions, and such issues as aesthetics, virtuosity, and the relationship between creator, performer, and audience. These topics have allowed scholars to move beyond ethnographic description and surface meaning to the kind of theory-building that contributes to all those fields concerned with human thought and behavior. It builds, interestingly enough, upon the generalizations, comparisons, and theories about style and structure that Boas and Claude Lévi-Strauss developed in the visual arts and oral genres. The shifts within anthropology toward process rather than structure, and performance rather than competence, have led scholars to an acknowledgment of the body, embodiment, and embodied knowledge as essential ways of being and of knowing (Royce 2004).

The field has not only grown since Kuraths 1960 statement of its potential. One has only to compare Kaepplers 1978 review of the field with Susan Reeds 1998 review. Since 1998, dance scholarship has expanded still further. Most importantly, the field has established itself within anthropology as a focus and method that contributes to general theories of culture and society. Whatever issues anthropologists define as worthy of examination, they must pay attention to their embodiment in the repertoire of individual actors and societies. Anthropologists will not be successful in that endeavor unless they acknowledge and practice embodied ways of knowing. They have recognized that dance and performance provide unique and subtle entryways to artistic expression. They have now begun to see the value of that lens for examining cultural understanding as a whole.

SEE ALSO Anthropology; Boas, Franz; Culture; Entertainment Industry; Ethnography; Ethnology and Folklore; Ethnomusicology; Exoticism; Levi-Strauss, Claude

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bloch, Maurice. 1989. Symbols, Song, Dance, and Features of Articulation: Is Religion an Extreme Form of Traditional Authority? (1974). In Ritual History and Power: Selected Papers in Anthropology : 1945 London: Athlone.

Browning, Barbara. 1995. Samba: Resistance in Motion. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Décoret-Ahiha, Anne. 2004. Les Danses Exotiques en France, 18801940. Pantin, France: Centre National de la Danse.

Grau, Andrée, and Georgiana Wierre-Gore, eds. 2005. Anthropologie de la Danse: Genèse et Construction dune Discipline. Pantin, France: Centre National de la Danse.

Kaeppler, Adrienne. 1978. Dance in Anthropological Perspective. Annual Review of Anthropology 7: 3149.

Kurath, Gertrude P. 1960. Panorama of Dance Ethnology. Current Anthropology 1 (3): 233254.

Kurath, Gertrude P., and Antonio Garcia. 1970. Music and Dance of the Tewa Pueblos. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press.

Mauss, Marcel. 1979. Body Techniques (1934). In Sociology and Psychology: Essays, trans. Ben Brewster: 95123. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Nevile, Jennifer. 2004. The Eloquent Body: Dance and Humanist Culture in Fifteenth-Century Italy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Reed, Susan A. 1998. The Politics and Poetics of Dance. Annual Review of Anthropology 57 (1): 503532.

Royce, Anya Peterson. 1977. The Anthropology of Dance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Royce, Anya Peterson. 2004. Anthropology of the Performing Arts: Artistry, Virtuosity, and Interpretation in a Cross-Cultural Perspective. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

Savigliano, Marta E. 1995. Tango and the Political Economy of Passion. Boulder, CO: Westview.

Sweet, Jill D. 2004. Dances of the Tewa Pueblo Indians: Expressions of New Life. 2nd ed. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press.

Taylor, Julie 1998. Paper Tangos. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Anya Peterson Royce

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Dance

DANCE

DANCE. The history of American dance is as varied as the numerous dance forms that compose it. Dominated by competing senses of athleticism and grace, the American dance form came of age during the twentieth century, perfecting a combination of European and African roots. In colonial America dancing was popular wherever religious sanctions did not prevent freedom of expression. Primarily primitive in nature, colonial American dance reflected the juxtaposition of numerous immigrant groups and Native American tribes. Nevertheless, it was a blending of traditional western European and western African dance forms that provided the backbone of American dance in the twenty-first century. This amalgamation began at the end of the colonial era and continued slowly until the end of the nineteenth century with the dawning of the jazz era.

From the mid-eighteenth century to the latter part of the nineteenth century, American dance progressed from minuets and country-dances to cotillions and quadrilles. These dances were almost ritualized; they required grace and knowledge of the complex steps. Regional or country-dances, such as the Irish step dances, the Scotch-Irish jigs, or German reels, reflected the cosmopolitan nature of American dance. Incorporated into this category were the various African dance forms, such as the religious ring shout, funeral and processional strut dances, and seasonal dances. Thus, American dance combined old-world technique with new environmental and social trends to create a new hybrid of dance and music.

Perhaps the best example of this hybridization is the "jig," a step dance that was popular first in Europe, and then in America. This foot-stomping dance extended beyond class boundaries and, when combined with the African step dances, became the precursor to the twentieth-century American dance form, tap. This hybridization became the hallmark of American dance, combining a sort of individualism and improvisation that was distinctly American.

Incorporating this distinctly American style was the first "ballet" style dance. Using techniques similar to pantomime, this ballet was presented in 1735 by Henry Holt, a British dancing instructor who had opened a dancing school in 1734 in Charleston, South Carolina. The first classical performers in America were English, French, and Italian touring companies, which presented operas, operettas, and pantomimes. Dancing also made its way into circuses and variety shows, where the first notable American dancer, John Durang, made his debut. As a blackface comic, he combined comedy, acting, acrobatics, and rope dancing—again, a uniquely American style. Durang began his career in Philadelphia with the Old American Company, one of the earliest theatrical touring groups. His popularity paved the way for the joint debut in Philadelphia of two American ballerinas, Augusta Maywood, who danced primarily in Europe, and Mary Ann Lee, who danced the first American Giselle in Boston in 1846. However, these dancers were exceptions, as European dancers dominated the American scene in the nineteenth century.

Theatrical dancing, including ballet, pageantry, and melodrama, peaked in 1866 with the production at Niblo's Gardens in New York of The Black Crook, which became a fixture on the American stage for the remainder of the nineteenth century. Prior to this performance, William Henry Lane, whose stage name was Master Juba, was the only black singer-dancer to perform in white minstrel shows. The ingenuity of his improvised dance steps created a sense of interaction between dancer and audience, and his footwork originated the form known as tap dance.

The cakewalk, a black American social dance, became the first indigenous African American dance fad to spread to Europe. The cakewalk presumably began around 1850 on the plantations of the South, and its high-kneed strut was meant to parody the solemn decorum of the white masters as they promenaded in the formal marches that opened their balls. The white masters, apparently oblivious to the actual meaning, encouraged the development of this dance form.

Dance became more of a public affair in the mid-nineteenth century. In the early 1800s the popularity of the waltz, an import from Europe, and round dancing, including the polka, quadrille, and mazurka brought by new waves of eastern European immigrants, reflected the new public representation of dance. More public


ballrooms were built, and dances became egalitarian events, in contrast to the smaller, more private parties of the preceding century, which had demanded a sort of ballroom etiquette. Dance manuals published in the late nineteenth century devoted less space to ballroom etiquette, and more information to the images detailing the actual dance technique itself.

At the turn of the century a rash of "animal" dances became popular. Dances like the Turkey Trot, the Kangaroo Hop, and the Grizzly Bear continued the trend in couple dances by incorporating gestures and steps from African animal dances. All body appendages could be used; elbows would flap, and heads bob, as the dancers hopped around the dance floor like bunnies. The Charleston, which had originated in black neighborhoods around 1910, made it to the white stage in Runnin' Wild in 1922. This dance craze represented a complete break from all European elements. With its African American dance elements, including the flying kicks, shimmying shoulders, and swaying hips, the Charleston made a star overseas of its protégé, Josephine Baker.

The turn of the century also inaugurated an entirely new form of dancing: the expressive or interpretive dance, known as modern dance. With the popularity of such dances as the cakewalk or the Charleston, intensity of expression became extremely important in the world of American dance. Perhaps the best-known proponent of interpretive dance was Isadora Duncan. Born in 1877 in San Francisco, California, Duncan tried the commercial stage but found it restrictive and uncreative. In 1903 in Berlin she delivered a speech entitled "The Dance of the


Future," in which she argued, "the dance of the future will have to become again a high religious art as it was with the Greeks. For art which is not religious is not art, is mere merchandise." When she returned to the United States, she went where no other solo dancer had dared to go; by dancing to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, and Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky, she transformed the public arena of the stage. Her performances were poorly received by dance critics, who questioned her physical interpretation of symphonic music, as well as her simplistic approach to costumery. Duncan sponsored many young American dancers, and trained them in her expressive, "naturalistic" style of dancing. Her uninhibited approach to art set the foundation for the success of modern dance in America.

Similarly, the uninhibited dance style of Ruth St. Denis, originally a vaudeville dancer, ignited the imagination of her followers. She became very interested in the dance of eastern cultures and, inspired by an image of the goddess Isis in an advertisement for Egyptian Deities cigarettes, created her own unique form of dance. She began her career as a solo artist in 1905 with the dance "Radha," the story of the mortal maiden loved by the god Krishna. Like Duncan, she never felt she would receive the attention she craved in the United States, so she moved to Europe, where she built her reputation as an exotic dancer with a classical style. She returned to the United States, where she began to work with Edwin Meyers "Ted" Shawn, a stage dancer who later became her husband. Together they founded the Denishawn Company, which soon dominated the modern dance arena.

One of the protégés of the Denishawn Company, Martha Graham became one of the most influential figures of the first half of the twentieth century. She learned to discard the strict choreography and footwork that had restricted her desire for innovation. She formed her own company in 1925; her programs featured exotic solos, and her dances attempted to draw attention to the plight of the human condition. She worked closely with Louis Horst, a major figure on the American dance scene in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, who encouraged her to work with contemporary composers rather than with eighteenth-and nineteenth-century music, as had previously been done. By 1930 Martha Graham had identified a method of breathing and relaxation she called "contraction and release," in which the movement originated in the tension of a contracted muscle and continued in the flow of energy released from the body as the muscle relaxed. This method gave Graham's dancers an angular look, one completely incongruous with the smooth dance styles of her predecessors. Before her death in 1991, she was often accused of making dance an "ugly" art form, but she ignited an interest in freedom of expression.

With the 1916 arrival in New York of Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, ballet actually began to be taken seriously in the United States. However, it was not until the Russian dancer George Balanchine and the American Lincoln Kirstein formed the New York City Ballet in 1948 that American ballet became a recognized and valid entity. Initially based in New York's City Center, it moved to the New York State Theater at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 1964. Balanchine extended the range and symbolism of American ballet; by infusing traditional and classical steps with contemporary techniques and energy he created a uniquely American ballet. While the New York City Ballet attempted a return to neoclassicism, reveling in its simplicity, dancers Lucia Chase and Richard Pleasant in 1940 formed the beginnings of a company that incorporated a variety of choreographic techniques. The Ballet Theatre, which became the American Ballet Theatre in 1957, provided a stage for such works as Agnes de Mille's Fall River Legend and Antony Tudor's Romeo andJuliet, as well as for classic works of the nineteenth century such as Giselle and Swan Lake. The main focus of the American Ballet Theatre was to provide a forum for both classical and contemporary works.

Concurrently, in the post–World War II era, another group of dancers focused on choreography that emphasized idiosyncrasy and physicality, a formula that became the modern dance of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Acting independently, these were modern dance choreographers such as Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Alvin Ailey, Glen Tetley, and José Limón. Cunningham in particular began to use chance devices to structure the movement and program the timing of movement of the performing space, which gave the dance stage a new set of possibilities. Alvin Ailey created his own touring troupe in 1958, when the idea of a modern dance company, and specifically a black modern dance company, was practically inconceivable. At the time, Broadway theaters were not hospitable to the concept of modern dance, nor were modern dance companies stable enterprises. However, Ailey encouraged the enjoyment of dance as a vibrant form of theater, and his company's style focused entirely on physicality. His dancers seemed to slide across the stage with an emphasis on ecstasy. Ailey noted that he wanted to create a black folkloric company that would combine bawdy humor, earthy emotion, and honesty with the intense physicality of pelvic thrusts and long body-lines.

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 1988 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


jazz and tap, each focus on the combination of "feeling the music" and the choreography itself. 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.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Carbonneau, Suzanne. "Dance at the Close of the Century." USIA Electronic Journal 3, no. 1 (1998).

Cohen, Selma Jeanne. Dance as a Theatre Art: Source Readings in Dance History from 1581 to the Present. New York: Harper and Row, 1976.

Garafola, Lynn. Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Mazo, Joseph. "Ailey and Company." Horizon 27, no. 6 (1984): 18–24.

Parks, Gary. "Critical Mass: Vintage Reviews: A Look at the Dance World through Seventy Years of Dance Magazine Reviews." Dance Magazine 71, no. 6 (June 1997): 14–35.

Riis, Thomas L. Just before Jazz: Black Musical Theater in New York, 1890 to 1915. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989.

Thorpe, Edward. Black Dance. Woodstock, N.Y.: Overlook Press, 1990.

JenniferHarrison

See alsoAlvin Ailey American Dance Company ; American Ballet Theatre ; Ballet ; Discos ; Martha Graham Dance Company ; New York City Ballet .

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Dance

Dance

Sources

Ambivalence. Dance in the United States developed largely in response to European dance culture, and Americans ambivalence about dancing revealed not only attitudes toward the movements of the body but also their feelings about European Culture and art. social dancing, for example, had many detractors and supporters. 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. The editor of Harpers New Monthly Magazine wrote, The gravity of the discussion of the morality of dancing is exceedingly amusing[critics] might as wisely quarrel with the song of the bobolink in the field as with the dance on the floor. Etiquette books designed for young men and women often included chapters on ballroom manners and techniques. In 1831 Godeys Ladys Book published a chapter from The Young Ladys Book (1830) that provided readers with a brief history of dance and illustrations of exercises to improve dancing skills. Godeys also regularly published descriptions and pictures of fashionable ball gowns, and Josepha Hale, the daughter of Godeys editor Sarah Josepha Hale, offered dancing as a subject in her Philadelphia boarding school.

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. In 1827 Senator (and future president) John Tyler wrote to his daughter that the waltz was a dance which you have never seen, and which I do not desire to see you dance. It is rather vulgar I think. In her popular The Gentleman and Ladys Book of Politeness (1833), published both in France and the United States, Mme. Celnart wrote, The waltz is a dance of quite too loose a character, and unmarried ladies should refrain from it in public and private. In spite of attacks the waltz gained popularity and respectability, especially when its loose character was restrained by certain rules that proper dancers followed when waltzing: the gentleman was not to encircle the ladys waist until the dance had begun, and he was not to touch her waist with his bare handsif the gentleman did not have his gloves, then he would use a handkerchief to cover his hand.

Polka. The polka was first danced in the United States at the National Theater in New York in May 1844 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. George Templeton Strong, a prominent New York lawyer, described the polka as a kind of insane Tartar jig performed to a disagreeable music of an uncivilized character and wrote in his diary: Wish I had the man here that invented the polkaId scrape him to death with oyster shells. Less formal than earlier popular social dances such as the quadrille and the minuet, round dances such as the waltz and the polka were easy to learn and could be learned simply by watching, without formal training under a dancing master.

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. Wrote Alklen Dodworth, who opened his dance academe in New York in 1835 With the introduction of the waltz, galop and other round dances, a complete revolution in social dancing took place. these were so easily learned that the education in motion required was quite sufficient, manner becoming entirely secondary [The new teachers] were able to waltz expertly, and the teaching of the waltz and a few other dances was all they believed to be required of them; they were, therefore, simply dance teachers, not teachers of motion and manner. Yet dance instruction continued to flourish as etiquette and advice-manual writers as well as dance instructors urged Americans to take dance lessons and characterized social dancing as a necessary social accomplishment as well as a form of healthy exercise. According to the 1830 American Journal of Education, in some towns the dancing masters were better paid than the schoolteachers.

Ballet. 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 1830s and early 1840s when a series of prominent European dancers toured the United States. In 1839 Paul and Amelie Taglioni, first dancer and premiere danseuse, respectively, of the Berlin Royal Opera, gathered a corps de ballet in New York and staged the first complete American performance of La Sylphide, a ballet made famous in 1832 by Pauls sister marie Taglioni one of Europes premier ballerinas. Fanny Appleton, later the wife of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, wrote of taglionis performance in La Fille du Danube in 1837: She floats over the earth like a creature of a rarer element, and you fear, as you gaze at the weaving elasticity of her motion, that she will vanish away like a vapor and ascend to make the clouds her ballroom. Celebrated ballerina Fanny Elsser toured the nation from 1840 to 1842 with enormous success. Soon the United States was able to present its own ballet dancers, including balleries Augusta Maywood and Mary Ann Lee, both of whom trained in Philadelphia under P.H. Hazard, a former member of the Paris Opéra corps de ballet. La petite Augusta Maywood went on to a successful career in Europe. In 1846 Lee danced the first American rendition of Giselle at the Howard Athenaeum in Boston supported by George Washington Smith, the first American male classical dancer.

Music Halls and Minstrelsy. After 1845 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. A free man originally from Providence, Rhode Island, Lane was discovered in the notorious Five Points District of New York, which housed free blacks and poor Irish workers, and Lanes performances reflected a blend of African and Irish dancing styles. In a series of widely published dance challenged in the 1840s Lane repeatedly defeated John Diamond, considered the greatest white minstrel dancer, and in 1848 he traveled to Europe with an American troupe, the Ethiopian Minstrels, to perform at Vauxhall Gardens in London. He died in 1852 while on tour in England.

Sources

Deborah Jowitt, Time and the Dancing Image (New York: Morrow, 1988);

Lawrence Levine, Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1988);

Joseph E. Marks III, America Learns to dance: A Historical Study of Dance Education in American Before 1900 (New York: Exposition Press, 1957);

Lillian Moore, Eches of American Ballet (New York: Dance Horizons, 1976).

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Dance

DANCE

DANCE. 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 1560s, 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 (15451563) 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.

Dance crossed the Alps thanks to the Italian wars of Francis I after 1525 and the marriage of Henry II to Catherine de Médicis in 1533. 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. It thereby became a necessary part of the education of the proper gentleman, the honnête homme, as much in Jesuit as in military academies. 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 16101643) and Louis XIV (ruled 16431715), 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 1580s, 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 1670 Louis XIV withdrew from participating in it. The creation of the Académie Royale de Danse (Royal Dance Academy) in 1661 generated a movement of new thinking in both theory and practice among the French masters. Raoul-Auger Feuillet founded a system of notating dance movement, published in his Chorégraphie in 1700, that rapidly became standard practice Europe-wide for belle danse. Seventeenth-century choreographers applied the classicist outlook dominant in the court to notions of dancing with symmetry, equilibrium, clarity, and measure. Moreover, the academy led to a professional order of dance, in fact the first institutionalized ballet troupe, in the Académie Royale de Musique (Royal Music Academy), which was founded in 1669. The original restriction to men was dropped with the addition of women in 1681. During the second half of the seventeenth century, dance was integrated into the performance of all operatic genres, as well as some dramatic ones, and the Académie Royale de Musique, also called the Opéra (with the protection of Louis XIV and the dauphin and under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Lully), became the most prestigious hall of entertainment in Paris.

French theatrical dance proceeded to spread all over Europe in the early eighteenth century as artists started dance companies and schools. Dance stylesheroic or serious, half-serious (demicaractère), comic or grotesqueand performers became specialized, just as standards of virtuosity and expressiveness expanded for both male and female dancers. In England in the 1710s 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 1760s 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. In Paris the practice first occurred at the highly innovative Opéra Comique in the 1760s and then at the Opéra in the 1780s. 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 designeddance 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. That is why when spectators entered the Opéra, they brought with them deep knowledge of complex interpretive aspects of dance and music, all of which was the fruit of an ancient European cultural tradition.

See also Class, Status, and Order ; France ; Gentleman ; Louis XIV (France) ; Lully, Jean-Baptiste ; Music ; Opera ; Renaissance ; Ritual, Civic and Royal .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Cohen, Selma Jeanne, ed. International Encyclopedia of Dance. 6 vols. New York, 1998.

Hilton, Wendy. Dance of Court and Theater: The French Noble Style, 16901725. Edited by Caroline Gaynor. Princeton, 1981.

Lancelot, Francine. La belle danse: catalogue raisonné fait en l'an 1995. Paris, 1996.

Negri, Cesare. Le gratie d'amore. Milan, 1602; reprint, New York, 1969.

Rameau, Pierre. Le maître à danser, suivi d'un Abrégé de la nouvelle méthode. Paris, 1725. Reprint, New York, 1967. Translated by Cyril W. Beaumont as The Dancing Master. London, 1931. Reprint, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1970.

Tomlinson, Kellom. The Art of Dancing. London, 1735. Reprint, Farnborough, U.K., 1970.

Nathalie Lecomte

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Dance

Dance

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.

Death Dances in the East

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. 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.

Death Dances in Africa

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.

Death Dances in the Americas

The Umutima Indians of Upper Paraguay, South America, possess seventeen different death cult dances. 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.S. government, which deemed the dance subversive.

Death Dances in Europe

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.

Death in Western Stage Dance

In the Romantic period of the nineteenth century, a morbid fascination with death and the mysterious produced ballets such as the ballet des nonnes in Giacomo Meyerbeer's opera, Robert le Diable (1830), Giselle (1841), La Peri (1843), and La Bayad Ère (1877), all of which present scenes with ballerinas dressed in white, vaporous costumes representing spirits after death, floating on their toes or suspended by invisible wires and illuminated by moonlight fabricated by the technology of gas lighting. Many of these ballets are still performed, providing the ballerina with the artistic challengeroles in Giselle or La BayadÈre of a dramatic death scene followed by the difficult illusion of phantomlike, weightless spirituality.

Twentieth-century dance has used death as the inspiration for many dance works; the most perennial is Mikhail Fokine's Le Cygne (1905), 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 (1913).

In postWorld 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 (1930), showing the devasting impact of death on society. Another choreographic masterpiece from Germany is Kurt Jooss's The Green Table (1932), inspired by the medieval Danse Macabre paintings. 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 1930, 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 (1951), 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 (1983). 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 (1981) and There Below (1989), 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 (1995), showing her life cycle from childhood to death.

Since the 1980s 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 (1994). Maurice Bejart, choreographer and director of the Ballet du XXieme Siecle, after showing Ce que la mort me dit (1980), a serene vision of death, presented an evening-long piece, Ballet For Life (1996), 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. Titles like Andrée Howard's Death and the Maiden (1937); Frederick Ashton's dances in Benjamin Britten's opera, Death in Venice (1974); Erick Hawkins's Death is the Hunter (1975); Flemming Flindt's Triumph of Death (1971); and Death by the Indian choreographer Astad Deboo are numerous and underline the continuing fascination of dance creators for the subject.

See also: Danse Macabre; Folk Music; How Death Came into the World; Operatic Death

Bibliography

Carmichael, Elizabeth. The Skeleton at the Feast: The Day of the Dead in Mexico. London: British Museum Press, 1991.

Hodson, Millicent. Nijinsky's Crime Against Grace: Reconstruction Score of the Original Choreography for Le Sacre du Printemps. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1996.

Huet, Michel, and Claude Savary. Dances of Africa. New York: Harry Abrams, 1995.

Lonsdale, Steven. Animals and the Origins of Dance. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1982.

Morgan, Barbara. Martha Graham: Sixteen Dances in Photographs. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Morgan and Morgan, 1980.

Vaucher, Andrea R. Muses from Chaos and Ash: AIDS, Artists and Art. New York: Grove Press, 1993.

VINCENT WARREN

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dance

dance Like ‘body’, dance's meanings and functions have been constituted differently at distinct moments in history. 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. While dancing, the individual is embroiled in body as the creative producer of ‘ideas’, as a medium for communicating ideas, and as the disciplined executant of those ideas. 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.

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. 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


See also ballet; music and the body.

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Dance

DANCE

A social activity that takes on a multitude of forms within sacred and everyday contexts in Middle Eastern societies.

The Middle East abounds in forms of dance and stylized movement ranging from those associated with ritualized religious ceremonies, such as the Semaʾa of the mystical Sufi Whirling Dervishes, to more spontaneous dancing, such as belly dancing, that occurs in informal everyday contexts. 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. And although male dancers in the Middle East have been able to reach a sort of professional (maʿalim) status, the same has not always been true for women. 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. The Fez Festival of World Sacred Music is a case in point. Created after the first Gulf War (1991), 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. The origins of the Hora can be traced back to the Balkans, but it was brought to Palestine after World War I by Baruch Agadati, an actor of Romanian origin. 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. In Turkey, high-school students practice various folk-dance forms and perform in traditional costumes on a Youth Day, which was created by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in the early days of the Turkish Republic. 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.

See also Music.


Bibliography

Kapchan, Deborah. Gender on the Market: Moroccan Women and the Revoicing of Tradition. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996.

Lynch, David. "Staging the Sacred in Morocco: The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music." Master's thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 2000.

Racy, Ali Jihad. Music in the Genius of Arab Civilization, 2d edition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1983.

Stokes, Martin. The Arabesk Debate: Music and Musicians in Modern Turkey. Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1992.

Sugarman, Jane C. Engendering Song: Singing and Subjectivity at Prespa Albanian Weddings. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.

Van Nieuwkerk, Karin. A Trade Like Any Other: Female Singers and Dancers in Egypt. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995.

maria f. curtis

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dance

dance [Old High Ger. danson=to drag, stretch], the art of precise, expressive, and graceful human movement, traditionally, but not necessarily, performed in accord with musical accompaniment. Dancing developed as a natural expression of united feeling and action.

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 5,000 to 9,000 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. two types of dance were popular, the solemn and stately dances performed at the court of Charles IX and the lively peasant dances.

The ballet first appeared in Italian courts in the 16th cent., and it became popular in France, especially during the reign of Louis XIV. Among the formal dances of the 17th cent. were the courante, saraband, pavan, minuet, gavotte, quadrille (or contredanse), and cotillion. 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. where variations of the morris dance were frequently performed in villages and small towns.

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 two-step c.1890, the turkey trot (one-step) c.1900, and the fox-trot c.1912. The popularity of jazz in the early 1920s 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.

Since the 1920s the United States has seen a wave of dance crazes, among them the Lindy Hop of the 1930s, the boogie woogie and jitterbug of the 1940s, the cha cha and rock 'n' roll of the 1950s, the twist, frug, and various frenzied discothèque and go-go dances of the 1960s, the disco dances of the 1970s, and in the 1980s hip-hop, which was tied to rap music and evolved into an energetic style of street dancing, called break dancing. 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. ed. 1942); C. Sachs, World History of the Dance (tr. 1937, repr. 1963); W. Sorell, The Dance through the Ages (1967); A. Chujoy and P. W. Manchester, ed., The Dance Encyclopedia (rev. ed. 1967); W. Terry, The Dance in America (rev. ed. 1971); G. Vuillier, A History of Dancing from the Earliest Ages to Our Own Time (1898, repr. 1973); P. Magriel, Chronicles of the American Dance (1978); J. H. Mazo, Prime Movers (1977, repr. 1983); F. Bijester, Dancing Is Pleasure for Two: The Story of Ballroom and Social Dance (1985); S. Barnes, Terpsichore in Sneakers: Post-Modern Dance (1987); S. J. Cohen, ed., International Encyclopedia of Dance (6 vol., 1998); D. Craine and J Mackrell, Oxford Dictionary of Dance (2000); N. Reynolds and M. McCormick, No Fixed Points: Dance in the Twentieth Century (2003).

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dance

dance, spontaneous or choreographed, may take a wide variety of forms and serve many functions. As the early Christian church's attitude was ambivalent, many old ritual dances (such as those associated with maypoles) became disguised through new names and contexts, evolving into social dance or absorbed into later theatrical spectacle. The emergence of noble and peasant classes further contributed to the development of social dance: chivalric culture encouraged stately movement, accompanied by instruments such as lutes, while boisterous, rustic figure-dances were accompanied by singing. France's lead in court dance yielded to Renaissance Italy's developments, and the upper classes of early Tudor England were soon familiar with these fashionable new forms; pageants meanwhile developed into masques, which could range from simple dances with masks to elaborate entertainments with songs and speech. A new liveliness (typified by the jig) then emerged, encouraged by Elizabeth I, and dancing schools so flourished as to prompt ambassadorial comment about ‘the dancing English’. Puritan disapproval failed to suppress the popularity of dance, and John Playford's The English Dancing Master (1651), which ran to 18 editions in 80 years, eventually included 900 choral dances of rustic origins.

After 1700, ballet (formalized by the French) became increasingly confined to highly trained specialists, on stage rather than floor, while former open-air choral dances moved indoors, executed by all classes, and seen as contributing to general education and manners. Jane Austen fully appreciated the role of assemblies and balls in the marriage-market. David Dale's view of dancing—‘most favourable for [workers'] spirits, and a strong source of attachment to the works’ (1812)—was adopted by Owen at New Lanark, where drill, team dancing, and community singing were utilized to control incipient lawlessness. Public ballrooms multiplied in the 19th cent., when the waltz gained international popularity, despite some moral disapproval of such paired dancing. The 20th cent. saw renewed interest in folk dance (morris dancing, now considered a survival from a primitive religious cult; Cecil Sharpe's collections) and search for new forms. England became arbiter of taste for these novelties, Victor Sylvester's Modern Ballroom Dancing (1928) a handbook for the dancing world, and dance competitions emerged. The advent of radio, gramophone, then electronics, expanded recreational dancing everywhere, from Scottish reels to jazz-based dances without physical contact, rock 'n' roll, disco, and break-dancing. Ballet meantime had generally dissociated itself from opera, and begun to experiment with choreography. Theatrical dance continues to flourish and influence ice-skating, women's gymnastics, and synchronized swimming.

A. S. Hargreaves

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dance

dance. In every age and among every race dancing has existed either as recreation or as a religious manifestation or as both.

In Europe all countries have their traditional (‘folk’) dances. Those of England are numerous, falling into three classes—for men alone the Sword Dance and the Morris Dances and for men and women together the Country Dances.

There has always been a tendency for some peasant dances to pass into wider use, their steps and music then becoming sophisticated. Some typical examples are allemande, bergomask, bourrée, branle, canaries, chaconne and passacaglia, courante, dump, gavotte, hay, jig, minuet, passamezzo, passepied, pavan and galliard, rigaudon, sarabande, volta. The rhythms and styles of some of the above, from the 16th cent. onwards, supplied conventional models for instrumental compositions (see suite). The Dances later popular in social circles (some of them of rustic origin) were the minuet and the Eng. country dance (17th cent.); cotillon and écossaise (18th cent.); waltz, quadrille, polka, schottische, mazurka, barn dance (19th cent.); and some of these also were taken as models by instrumental composers.

In the 20th cent. the dance has become synonymous with ballet, but the pattern of previous centuries has continued and modern dances such as the foxtrot, quickstep, and rumba have influenced composers. Dance companies such as those of Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham in the USA have been of significant importance. Dance has also been harnessed to electronic mus. See ballet.

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Dance

Dance. Like all pervasive religious behaviours, the dominant importance of dance in religious and especially ritual behaviours can be traced back to its genetic role (see Introduction and BIOGENETIC STRUCTURALISM). Dance, by its rhythm and exclusion of other external stimuli, induces brain behaviours (often leading to trance or ecstasy) which underlie claims to shamanistic or divine possession. At the least, they become evidence of connection with the divine (e.g. dervishes/derwīsh, ḥasidic dancers), or of a manifestation of the divine (e.g. in Hindu temple dance). Among Hindus, dance reiterates the cosmic process, epitomized in Śiva, who, as Naṭarāja, the Lord of the Dance, is the patron of dancers, creating, sustaining, destroying, and bringing to birth. Much Hindu dance draws on the Nāṭya Śastra (c.1st cent. BCE or CE), which lays out the rules for the dramatic manifestation of the divine. Kathak (teller of tales) is an example in N. India, which syncretizes elements from Islam. Kathākali (story-tale) occurs at Kerala in S. India, drawing on the epics. The vernacular nāc (for nāṭya) gave rise to the Eng. ‘nautch dancers’. Kṛṣṇa's dance among the gōpīs is reflected in dance in honour of Kṛṣṇa (e.g. Caitanya), visible in the streets today in the Hare Krishna (International Society …) movement. See also GHOST DANCE; DENGAKU.

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dance

dance / dans/ • v. [intr.] 1. move rhythmically to music, typically following a set sequence of steps. ∎  [tr.] perform (a particular dance or a role in a ballet): they danced a tango. ∎  [tr.] lead (someone) in a particular direction while dancing: I danced her out of the room. 2. (of a person) move in a quick and lively way: Sheila danced in gaily. ∎  move up and down lightly and quickly: midges danced over the stream. ∎  (of someone's eyes) sparkle brightly with pleasure or excitement. • n. a series of movements that match the speed and rhythm of a piece of music. ∎  a particular sequence of steps and movements constituting a particular form of dancing. ∎  steps and movements of this type considered as an activity or art form. ∎  a social gathering at which people dance. ∎  a set of lively movements resembling a dance: he gesticulated comically and did a little dance. ∎  a piece of music for dancing to. ∎  (also dance music) music for dancing to, esp. in a nightclub. ∎  a set of stylized movements performed by certain animals. DERIVATIVES: dance·a·bil·i·ty n. dance·a·ble adj.

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Dance

152. Dance

  1. Carmichael, Essie untalented girl who goes into her ballet routine with little or no encouragement. [Am. Drama: Kaufman and Hart You Cant Take It with You in Hart, 955]
  2. Esmerelda gypsy girl whose street dancing captivates onlookers. [Fr. Lit.: Victor Hugo The Hunchback of Notre Dame ]
  3. Red Shoes, The bewitched shoes force Karen to dance unceasingly. [Danish Lit.: Andersen The Red Shoes in Magill II, 27]
  4. Rockettes precision dancers; a fixture at New Yorks Radio City Music Hall. [Am. Dance: Payton, 576]
  5. Roseland Ballroom New York dance hall. [Pop. Culture: Misc.]
  6. Salome danced to obtain head of John the Baptist. [N.T.: Matthew 14:611]
  7. St. Denis, Ruth, and Ted Shawn (18771968) (18911972) husband-and-wife team, founders of Denishawn dance schools. [Am. Dance: NCE, 2395]
  8. Terpsichore muse of dancing. [Gk. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 849]
  9. Vitus, St. patron saint of dancers. [Christian Hagiog: Saints and Festivals, 291]
  10. Ziegfeld Follies beautiful dancing girls highlighted annual musical revue on Broadway (19071931). [Am. Theater: NCE, 3045]

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"Dance." Allusions--Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dance

dance

dance Ancient art of ordered, stylized body movements, normally performed to the accompaniment of music or voices. In its most primitive form, dance was probably part of courtship and religious ritual. In China, Japan, and India, graceful mime is the distinctive feature, whereas the dances of Africa are characterized by rapid, athletic movements. In 18th-century Europe, Bach and Handel, among others, composed music for formal courtly dances, such as the gavotte and minuet. Ballroom dances, such as the waltz, foxtrot, tango and quickstep, became popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 1950s, dances such as the jive and the twist were introduced. Many different styles have emerged from modern dance. See also ballet

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dance

dance dance attendance on do one's utmost to please someone by attending to all their requests.
dance of death a medieval allegorical representation in which a personified Death leads people to the grave, designed to emphasize the equality of all before death (see also danse macabre).
dance to someone's tune comply completely with someone's demands.
lead someone a merry dance cause someone a great deal of trouble or worry.
they that dance must pay the fiddler you must be prepared to make recompense for the provision of an essential service. (Compare he who pays the piper calls the tune.) The saying is recorded from the mid 17th century.

See also dancing dervishes at dervish, St Vitus's dance.

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dance

dance vb. XIII. — OF. dancer, (also mod.) danser :- Rom. *dansāre, of unkn. orig.
So dance sb. XIII.

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dance

danceaskance, expanse, finance, Hans, Hanse, manse, nance, Penzance, Romance •underpants • happenstance •advance, Afrikaans, à outrance, chance, dance, enhance, entrance, faience, France, glance, lance, mischance, outdance, perchance, prance, Provence, stance, trance •nuance • tap-dance • square dance •freelance • convenance •cense, commence, common sense, condense, dense, dispense, expense, fence, hence, Hortense, immense, offence (US offense), pence, prepense, pretence (US pretense), sense, spence, suspense, tense, thence, whence •ring-fence • recompense •frankincense •chintz, convince, evince, Linz, mince, Port-au-Prince, prince, quince, rinse, since, Vince, wince •province •bonce, ensconce, nonce, ponce, response, sconce •séance • pièce de résistance •announce, bounce, denounce, flounce, fluid ounce, jounce, mispronounce, ounce, pounce, pronounce, renounce, trounce •dunce, once

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