51 terms

Dance Vocabulary

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AB
Two part (binary) form; musical/dance structure in two sections each contrasting with the other.
ABA
Three-part form: A = one dance phrase, B = a different dance phrase, A = the original phrase again
Abstract Movement
Movement that is not narrative. It shows the essence, or quality of an idea
Analyze
to recognize the constituent parts of something.
Augmentation
A process for manipulating dance movement by making the original theme or motif larger or greater with respect to
space, time, or energy.
Bound
Of or pertaining to a manner of using energy that communicates a controlled intent.
Canon
Any dance movement or sequence that is performed like a musical round (i.e., the original theme is imitated exactly by another
person or group, each one beginning at a slightly different point in time).
Chance
A choreographic process in which elements are specifically chosen and defined but randomly structured to create a dance or
movement phrase. This process demands high levels of concentration in performance to deal effectively with free-association
and surprise structures that appear spontaneously.
Choreographic Device
Techniques used to create variations in movement that are based in dance elements.(e.g., fragmentation,
diminution, repetition, changing a dancer's facing, etc.)
Choreographic Processes
Techniques that assist choreographers in developing dance works by deliberate choice making, reflection
upon the work-in-progress, and exploration and planning in reference to a specific artistic intention.
Choreographic Structures
The specific compositional forms in which movement is structured to create a dance, such as theme and
variation, canon, ABA, and rondo.
Choreography
The steps, groupings, patterns, and other combined elements of a dance composition that are planned and performed.
Classical
Dance that has been developed into highly stylized structures such as ballet, Bharatanatyam, or other classical styles within a
culture. Generally developed within the court or circle of power in a society.
Composition
(1) The dance-making process. (2) The end product of the process of exploring movement possibilities; experimenting
with a broadly focused movement idea or concept; selecting the movement to be developed further, formulating the structure of
the composition/study/phrase, clarifying or "cleaning up" the movement, rhythm, accents, pathways, and body designs so that
the intent is clear; and refining the execution of the movement so that the composition can be performed consistently with
finesse appropriate to the skill level of the dancer(s).
Dance Elements
The building blocks of dance movement; movement of the body using space, time, and dynamics/energy.
Dance Work
An organized, complete, choreographic product that can be comprehended on its own merit.
Diminution
Manipulating dance movement by making the original theme or motif smaller with respect to space, time, or energy.
Direction
A movement element in dance; movement forward, backward, sideward, diagonally, circularly, up, or down.
Exploration
Developing or creating movement based on ideas, stimuli, or images presented by the teacher or leader
Folk Dance
The traditional dances of a given country or area that have evolved naturally and spontaneously in conjunction with
everyday activities and experiences of people who developed them. Folk dances are perpetuated from generation to generation
in the manner of all folk traditions—from person to person, family to family, village to village.
Fragmentation
The manipulation of movement: the original movement flow is broken into irregular pieces, or fragments. The original
movement need not be completed when fragmentation is applied as a choreographic tool.
Free Flowing
Of or pertaining to a manner of using energy that communicates a released and carefree intent.
General Space
An area beyond personal space that is available for movement purposes.
Genre
A kind or type of dance. Each dance genre is distinguished by specific learned technique with historical, cultural, kinesiological,
or entertainment values
Improvisation
Movement created spontaneously, ranging from free form to highly structured environments but always with an
element of change. Improvisation is instant and simultaneous choreography and performance.
Kinesthetic
Of or pertaining to the ability of the sensory nerve endings in one's muscles, tendons, and joints to respond to movement
while one is dancing or viewing dance.
Levels
The altitude of a movement or shape (high, middle, low) in relationship to its distance from the floor.
Locomotor Movement
Any motion in which the feet or any other part of the body is used to carry the body from one place to another
(e.g., walking, running hopping, jumping, skipping, galloping, sliding, leaping, rolling, crawling).
Manipulate
To shape and reform the dance movement.
Movement Phrase
A sequence of movements that are ordered based upon a preconceived choreographic intent and contains a clear
beginning, middle, and end that aligns with artistic intent. A movement phrase could be compared to a paragraph of movement
and would contain two or more movement sentences.
Movement Sentence
A sequence of movement that contains more than simple elements in an ordered sequence but contains a clear
beginning, middle, and end and movements are enhanced by the application of body, shape, energy, and/or space.
Movement Sequence
A brief sequence of movements that are not necessarily ordered into a formal choreographic structure that
communicates artistic intent but rather demonstrates a solution to a movement problem. A movement sequence could contain as
few as two or movements
Movement Study or Composition
A brief choreographic product that is created in response to movement generated to fulfill a specific
exploratory intent. A movement study should contain more than one phrase of movement and could be compared to a few
paragraphs of movement.
Movement Qualities
The essential nature and quantity of energy expended in a movement; its force or strengthened feeling; the
intention toward the movement; the shadings in the amount of energy, intensity, or power; subtle variations in treatment of
movement contrasts. In some models, this dance element is referred to as dynamics or efforts.
Partnering
Working with another dancer to create interesting movement through lifts, guiding, and/or weight sharing.
Pathways
Patterns of dance movement in and through space as in straight, zigzag, curvy, or wavy.
Percussive
Movement having a beating or striking quality.
Phrase
A natural grouping of movements that give a temporary feeling of completion
Production Elements
Costumes, lighting, scenery, sound, and special effects.
Projection
A confident presentation of one's body and energy to communicate movement and meaning vividly to an audience. It also
refers to performance quality.
Replicate
Performing movement accurately while following a leader.
Social Dance
Dance that appears in one's own culture; this can include courtship dances, work dances, war dances, and communal
dances also known as recreational and ballroom dance. Includes such dances as waltz, foxtrot, tango, meringue, salsa, mambo,
rhumba, and swing.
Space
An element of dance relating to the area through and with whichthe body moves and interacts
Sustained
A manner of using energy that communicates an intent to prolong the movement being executed.
Swing/swinging
A body movement that has the quality or action of the pendulum on a clock as it traces an arc like path between two
points—rising, falling, rising. The rising action is increasingly sustained, and the falling action is increasingly quickened.
Technology
Electronic media (such as video, camcorders, digital recorders, CD players, iPods, stage lighting and sound, still cameras,
computer software and hardware, and interwrite boards) used as tools to create, learn, explain, document, analyze, and/or
present dance on stage or in the classroom
Tempo
The rate of speed at which dance movement is performed.
Transition
An organized connection between dance movements that maintains continuity in the dance.
Unity
One of the aesthetic criteria for evaluating dance: the state or quality of a coherent series of movements; the harmonious
relationship among all dance elements that contributes to the sense of completeness.
Vibratory
Of or pertaining to a sharp, quick action done by moving body parts quickly back and forth or side to side. The speed of the
shaking can be changed slightly, but if the action is done too slowly, the vibratory quality is lost. Body parts can shake
separately or simultaneously.
Warm-up
Movements and/or movement phrases designed to raise the core body temperature, move the body through a preparatory
range of movement, and bring the mind into focus for the dance.