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What is history?

Always biased, as long as one is aware that it's biased; recording of past events; helps us understand the present; people have always danced

What is dance?

Rhythmic movements of 3D body w/energy& expression; not necessarily w/a goal but w/intent

What is art?

Expression of a concept in different forms; expression of feeling; gives sense of belonging, survival; the art is based on qualitative experience

Basic components of Dance Criticism

Evaluation- positive/negative assessment is natural, everyone has an opinion; integral part of our critical thinking skills; evaluate your own opinions and why

Description- analysis; providing a detailed and accurate account of an action/object
Interpretation- process of explaining the meaning/significance of something; relate to accurate description be aware of bias

Contextualization- placing an event w/in a specific context/in specific circumstances; provides even more info& knowledge that audiences can use to understand and discuss a dance work's details and meanings; the context of a dance can include different settings& situations

Basic elements of dance

Space- a place where dance takes place; gives the body shape and design; body creates positive and negative space

Time- dance occurs over time; dance exists within a period of sequenced time, which incorporates rhythm (the structuring of time); always temporal; photo captures a moment in time, but dance exists over the course of time

Energy- our embodied attitude towards movement, not what movement is done but how you do the movement

Sympathetic magic

image and reality are seen as the same


1st inhabitants of Australia
tribal dance originated from spirits
dance comes to them in dreams
stomach is the center of movement
tell stories through dance

Jiri Kylian

choreographed "Stamping Ground" 1980
modern dance
Netherlands Dance Theatre

Netherlands Dance Theatre

where Stamping Ground was performed
modern dance

Stamping Ground

choreographed by Jiri Kylian in 1980
crate music through stomping/clapping-anmal movement
animal within dancer
performed at the Netherlands Dance Theatre

Paleolithic Old Stone Age

20,000 years ago
"sympathetic magic"
Totem spirit
cave paintings

Neolithic Stone Age

Emphasis on farming & agriculture, appeasing spiritual & animalistic side of you

Sacred Circle Cyprus 2,000BCE- create a space in which a sense of community can evolve; sacred circle w/dancers in it


captures the power of animals
each clan has its own animal totem and mythic tales and songs about the past.

Animistic Perspective

Belief objects, animals, and people can affect spirits w/in them & so you must appease them

Cradle of western civilization

Invented the: wheel, writing, bronze (jewelry, weapons, use aesthetically), 60 sec. & 60 min., 12 months& zodiac, laws protected underprivileged

Lineage-based cultures and dance

Major form of religious ritual, worship to the gods; no written language; oral transmission of customs& traditions

Dance and religion

means of communication
telling a story without language

Egyptian dance

dance was recorded in hieroglyphics
religious expression, death and rebirth
performed at funerals

Dance of the Hebrews, 12 verbs

biblical hebrew has 12 verbs to express "dance"
Shiva=hindu dancing god

Whirling Dervishes

whirling as a form of remembering a god


known to perform amazing things while dancing

Dance in Crete

entertainment/display, religious
military training
inspired Greece

Dance in Greece

common in education, very athletic, learned at an early age
you were considered a well bred citizen


god of wine, sex, ectstasy


bring forth dance to open theater and festival in honor of dionysus


1st dithyramb actor-535 BC

Greek Drama

essential in theater=dance, art is essential in expression
tragedy and comedy
(Emmeleia, Kordax, Sikinnis are all specifics)

Greek Chorus

came from theater, Emmeleia dance, gestures, dance, phrases
theater at Epidaur


Sun god
dictated laws of choreography


wrote laws, dance
noble and ignoble dancing
approved of slaves dancing


golden age
arts flourished
strong culture
age of Pericles was peaceful, not war-like


dance as training


dance of peace for Apollo
grace/serious dance
noble dance
tells a story without speaking


dance of war for Zues


greek comedy
drunk men
Plato hated it

Roman Dance

less important than greece
eventually seen as corrupt/imoral

Roman pantomime

dance wore cloaks and mask
explained a story without speaking
opionion was divided: portrayed characters to convey meaning

Estruscan dance


Christianity and dance

ring dance
dance ONLY to rejoice god

Pagan and non-pagan

pagan= multiple gods
non-pagan= one god

Dark ages and dance

christianity and dance
dance only for worship otherwise seen as lewd

Middle Ages/ Miedieval and dance

other dance ceremonies are now accepted
dance processions ward off disease


group dance with refrain
(where christmas carols came from)

Morris dance

sword dance

court dance

dance outside the church but inside private homes
traveling dancers who became the 1st dancing masters

Basse Dance

no jumps
very elegant
action is low and close to the floor

Pageantry and Tournaments

outside church: Royal

Dance of Death

France--->Germany, Italy, Spain
preoccupation with death
prevent death from returning

Dance Mania

11-14th centuries
danced to prevent death from returning

Bubonic plague/ black death

killed 1/3 of Europeans in medieval times

Renaissance and dance

16-18th century
Catherine De Medici,
Louis XIV
Allemande quarante

Sonata, Musical suite and dance

Sarabande Gigue


slow dance, 1381


improv. for skilled dancers


woman is lifted during this dance
Queen Elizabeth's favorite

Equestrian Ballet

Similar to a "half time show" during a game
people on horses

Catherine De Medici

Italian, but moved to France
gave Ballet moves French names
De la Reine, shrewd

Ballet Comique de la Reine

1st ballet
6 hours long
danced by nobles
honors the Queen of France

King Louis XIV

King of France 18th century
loves to dance, often plays Apollo

Sun God

Louis XIV often portrays this


palace built by Louis XIV
Nobles lived there
important to be a good dancer

Jean Baptiste Lully


Pierre Beauchamps

dance master
created Ballet's first 5 foot positions

L'Academie Royale de Musique et Dance 1671

Founded by Louis XIV

Paris Opera

new name for L'Academie Royale de Musique et Dance
founded by Louis XIV

Professional ballet dancers



meant to be judged with partners

Cultural knowledge

Dance has rules, messages, meaning and knowledge in all aspects of life

Ellen Dissanayake

Wrote "art& intimacy" talks about baby talk, all aesthetic human beings
Works on anthropological exploration of art and culture; re-defined art as "making special" (art making involves taking something out of everyday use& context and making it somehow special)

3 basic dance patterns often seen in ancient times

Chain dance- group join hands/arms and dance in circle/line OR Sacred Circle

Line dance- people dancing in a line

Procession- large group of people, like a parade



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