Term Paper: Dance

Pages: 2 (795 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Plays  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Ideally, after watching such a living performance of innovation, one would take the alien back into a performance-based context, perhaps of the Alvin Ailey Dance theater or a Martha Graham modern dance company, to show that innovation in performance art is possible. The life of the people and the street and traditional and classical forms are in dialogue, rather than two strains of dance existing separately. Again, the main connection between the two forms is that movement creates meaning, both with the music, and adds meaning to the music. Composers create music for specific dance styles, although dancers match their motions, usually, to music in performance. In performance, there is more emphasis on replication and technical prowess, in play emotion and physical spontaneity come to the forefront -- but the two are always in balance, in motion, these elements can never disappear from any form of dance

Are these examples what make dance, then, the visitor would say? Not quite -- next, this alien would be taken to a wedding or another social occasion. There the alien would see people of all ages, some very technically unaccomplished, but all engaging in the social rite of dancing. Again, movement is important -- but the motions are less about proficiency or fun and spontaneity than what they say about an individual's participation in a culture and in a family. When the bride at a wedding dances with her father, it does not matter if the two people are perfect or even enthusiastic dancers, but it does matter that they do dance together -- and the fact that the bridge selects her father to be the first person to be her partner is revelatory about our culture and the institutions of marriage that still often conspire to imply that a girl is 'given away' by her father to a new life when she switches her allegiances from father to husband.

Thus, in dance, motion speaks the meaning -- but that meaning may be conveyed through a technically taught tradition, through emotional and social spontaneity, or through conforming to religious and cultural practices and institutions.

Works Cited

Jonas, Gerald. Dancing: The Pleasure, Power, and Art of Movement. New York: Harry N.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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