Understanding Dance

Understanding Dance

Understanding Dance

Before understanding dance as an entertainment product, it must be conceived as a social and cultural phenomenon that is in constant evolution, responding to the historical transformation of the human being. No doubt, dance has been of great contribution in the cultural world, because it evidences the thought and behavior of different societies in a certain historical moment.

One of the basic definitions of dance is: “series of movements of the body, constantly repeated, to the sound of the voice or musical instruments”; but, a deeper concept of dancer and Ramiro Guerra (1990) describes it as “cultural activity, either within a complex and technical framework, or within popular traditions. Dance is like painting, architecture, music, the product of ideological activity, which is part of human being’s cultural processes”.

Dance, from its origin, has existed as a form of narration in order to relive or recreate moments from the past or as a representation of reality, whether objectively or subjectively as in any art. In this way, objective dance seeks to stage everyday activities, while subjective dance is totally linked to the emotional part and is manifested in an abstract way, so it can have different meanings for the audience.

Although, apart from the popular and daily dance, there is the theater dance (Guerra, 1990).  In this type of dance, artistic forms have been developed and roles such as the choreographer and the dancer appear. The bases of a theatrical show are established in which there is already a public interested in paying attention to this artistic manifestation.  In this artistic field of dance, the role of the choreographer arises, who seeks to create an aesthetical product, where the main element is movement and staging.

It is important to emphasize that dance has certain basic factors that are: choreography, the dancer, music and decorative elements.  The choreography is the organization of the movements in a determined time and space and has as individual creator: the artist who receives the name of choreographer and who constructs his own artistic system.  While the dancer is the one who expresses the movement, and also they´re who have been prepared both in theory and practice.

In this way, music is the accompanying element that highlights each of the movements, that´s why it’s said that music is at the service of dance.  Finally, decorative resources differentiate dance from the rest of daily activities. Folkloric dance uses elements from the costumes of the villages like embroidery, masks and festive costumes; while theatrical dance uses elements such as scenography, lighting and costume design for each performance.

With these factors presented, process and the concepts behind dance can be understood. It is essential that all dancers, choreographers and fans understand that dance is an artistic career that has evolved from its popular and theatrical forms to modern ballroom rhythms like salsa, mambo and tango, which are the raison of the World Latin Dance Cup.

Source: Guerra, R. (1990)  Apreciación de la danza en Ramiro Guerra.  Maracaibo, 1990. en http://anidin.com.ve/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Guerra-Ramiro.-Apreciaci%C3%B3n-de-la-danza.pdf

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