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History of Dance Around the World
Transcript of History of Dance Around the World
Kristine Cavallo, Katie Howery and Emily McKinney
Historically: Lyrical dance is the fusion of ballet with jazz and contemporary dances complying to the fusion of rock/folk/pop/alternative music.
Today: The goal of lyrical dance today is to convey the emotions of the lyrics of the song, using the dancer as a sort of paintbrush of the singer/songwriter who is the artist.
Important person: Suzi Taylor is known as the mother of modern lyrical dance, teaching in New York City, she has a unique brand of musicality and expressiveness which has influenced many people.
Fun Fact: Lyrical dance usually appeals to those who are experienced dancers or older in age because of the amount of experience needed to convey the proper emotions when dancing.
Historically: Modern dance stemmed from a desire for a less strict and traditional form of ballet. It combines the movements of ballet with improvisation and more free movements.
Today: Modern dance is a much more popular form of dance today as it is a real expression of the artist’s emotions and ideology. Modern dance routines usually tell a clear story and have a specific meaning associated with them.
Important person: Lester Horton opened a dance school, incorporating Native American dance as well as jazz to bring a whole-body approach to dancing with freedom of expression, popularizing modern dance.
Fun Fact: Modern dance is more concerned with an ideology rather than the actual dance. It uses the dance to express creative freedom and opening of the mind.
Historically: Oldest dated ballroom dance (13th century). Influenced by the German “Lander” folk dance. The term “Waltz” came from the word “Walzer” which indicates a rotating motion.
Today: Viennese waltz is the fastest waltz but today the slower American & international styles are the most popular with dancers of all ages.
Important person: In 1834 the Boston dance master, Lorenzo Pananti introduced the Waltz to the U.S.
Fun Fact: The first “forbidden dance” due to the closed position where the partners are very close and the man’s hand is place on the woman’s waist.
Historically: Ballet originated in the 15th century Italian Renaissance courts and later moved to the form we recognize today in Russia and France, a concert dance.
Today: Ballet today has adopted many different dance techniques to contribute to their ever evolving style. Choreographers use dance styles such as modern and jazz to add a new look and feel to their routines.
Important person: Louis XIV is known to be the creator of classical ballet, an avid dancer himself, he formed the Royal Dance Academy to establish the standards of the dance as well as the give certification to the instructors.
Fun Fact: Male ballet dancers lift up to 1.5 tons of ballerinas during performances.
Historically: Jazz dance was developed originally from African slave dances brought to America and popularized alongside the jazz music culture in New Orleans. The term “jazz” came about during World War I.
Today: Jazz dance became widely popular in the 1950's and remains a popular dance today. Jazz routines are still evolving with influence from Latin and Caribbean based dances.
Important person: Katherine Dunham, an anthropologist and dancer, influenced the evolution of jazz by using Latin dances to find inspiration for new moves as well as introducing jazz to the world of ballet.
Fun Fact: As fun and carefree as jazz dance may look, it requires a strong background in ballet with much grace and balance.
Historically: Tap dance originated in minstrel shows when white performers would tap to poke fun at African slave dances. They took influence from irish step dancing as well as English clog dancing.
Today: Although tap dancing is not as popular as it once was, it is still known for its uniqueness in the dance world and in many instances is used as a form of a cappella music as well.
Important person: Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was a famous tap dancer of the time, popularizing the dance and performing worldwide. He later went on to have a leading role in the Shirley Temple franchise.
Fun Fact: Before we were introduced to the traditional metal tap shoes, they were made with wooden clogs on leather shoes.
Historically: Hip Hop dance originated more recently compared to other dances. It began on the streets as a sort of improv. and was later brought to the studio and choreographed. It mainly began in African American and Latino communities
Today: Hip Hop today is extremely mainstreamed into American culture. It ranges from being choreographed to freestyle as well as now developing into party dancing.
Important person: Afrika Bambaataa is responsible for popularizing hip hop dancing, music, and hip hop as a culture, spreading it throughout the world. His mission was to make hip hop a scholarly culture rather than one that had been formerly associated with drugs and crime.
Fun Fact: Hip Hop dance stems from almost every other form of dance and often times hip hop dancers are able to catch on to other dances because of their extreme athleticism.
My actual W.A. teacher!
Historically: Bollywood dance, first appeared as big musical numbers in the Bollywood films of 1970. Based on classical Indian dance, belly-dancing & western dance styles such as hip hop
Today: Bollywood has become its own unique genre. Very popular for aerobic fitness classes.
Important person: A Nataraj is a depiction of the dance god Shiva. Poses in Indian dance were inspired by images of this god. Most dancers have at least one Nataraj in their homes
Fun Fact: Solid proof of dance in India dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization (3600-1200BC)
Historically: West African dance is the mark of experiences, ceremonies as well as for pure fun. It embodies athleticism and grace with rhythm. Live drums, brightly colored costumes and singing all play a role in this style.
Today: Polycentric (isolation of body movements). Different groups emphasize different body parts, for example the Kalabari of Nigeria emphasizes subtle hip movements.
Important person: KanKouran –West African Dance Company in Washington D.C. for over 20 years. Founded by Assane Konte in 1983
Fun Fact: Most dance styles today are influenced by African dance for example,The Charleston, Twist, jazz and hip hop
Historically: Mix of Trinidad and Tobago heritage: French, Dutch, Spanish and African. Originally the Jump Dancing of 1880's in the Port of Spain, but the ballroom version was molded by the rumba and samba
Today: Caribbean Carnival is celebrated all over the world, with different flares for different countries.
Important person: Lovey’s Orchestra recorded the first Calypso song in 1912
Fun Fact: Dance included a lot of footwork
with four basic movements:
c) Rock forward and back
d)Clapping and snapping
Historically: "Flamenco" is Spanish for Flemish soldiers. These soldiers were known for their self-confidence, style and ostentatious pride; Similar to the gypsy characteristics for which flamenco was also known. Flamenco became synonymous with “gitano” ( gypsy) in Spanish.
Today: The dance depends on the mood, intention, the set of musical phrases and cultural traditions. Both the music and dance are mostly improvised, the dancer's role is to physically interpret the words sung by the musicians.
Important person: Sara Baras, one of the most famous flamenco dancers in Spain, titled “New Queen of Dance” by writers and critics, she even performed for the Queen of Spain.
Fun Fact: There are over 50 types of flamenco!
Historically: Argentina colonized by Spain in 1542. The mix of African Candombe with polka created the tango. Tango wasn’t popular until 19th-20th century because it was a dance for the lower classes, it was denounced by the upper class and condemned by the church.
Today: Neo-Tango evolved in 2000 from the U.S. not Argentina & danced to electrotango music.
Important person: Juan Perez- created the first Tango song “Dame la Lata” (Give me my tin) in 1880’s. The title describes when men at dance clubs gave an empty tin to the woman they wanted to dance with next.
Fun Fact: Royal Spanish Academy (1899)defined tango as “fiesta and dance of negroes or gente del pueblo [those that belong to lower socio-economical class] in America. “
Historically: Swing developed from African American communities in Harlem. Inspired by Jazz music of the 1920’s. Swing (Lindy Hop) was considered an indecent Negro dance, and was not accepted in the white community or taught in studios (Edmondson)
Today: Swing dancing is popular around the world, because the countries’ culture shapes the style and music swing is performed to. It is unique everywhere.
Important person: Dean Collins brought swing to California and the rest of the west coast. His version of Lindy Hop is what we see in modern swing today.
Fun Fact:The swing style of dance called “Jitterbugging,” was originally an insulting term used to poke fun at the shaking movements, but ever since then it was the name of the dance.
Historically: Salsa originated in Cuba and was inspired by a fusion of Latin music and African drums. The term salsa was created in New York to describe forms of Latin music and dance.
Today: Salsa is featured in Dancing with the Stars, there is several studios across the nation, and is a key style in the popular dance workout videos of Zumba.
Important person: Ignacio Pineiro was a Cuban musician, who first introduced America to salsa music in 1933.
Fun Fact: Salsa dancing is a sensual partner dance, with flashy costumes and revealing attire. The story line behind the choreography is a love hate relationship usually ending in the man winning over the woman.
Historically: Samba dancing was originally used as a form or worship in West Africa to call forth certain Gods. Brazilians modified this form of dance into the Samba we recognize today.
Today: Samba has turned into a world dance where each region has its owns style, similar to salsa dancing. Samba is also a key dance style in workout videos for its rhythmic hip circling working out the abdominals.
Important person: Samba dancing was first introduced in the U.S. by the movie “Flying Down to Rio” when Fred Astaire and Dolores Del Rio danced the Samba.
Fun Fact: Samba dancing is centered around the “Samba tic,” tilting of the pelvis in either direction, and is the core movement it samba.
Historically- Dancing of the belly was performed in the Ancient Middle East inspired by the fertility Goddess, to stimulate fertility in women. Women would also perform the dances while another was giving birth.
Today- Middle Eastern cultures usually hire a belly dancer to ensure good luck in fertility, and is continually taught around the U.S. Now it is more a dance of entertainment rather than a dance to help stimulate fertility.
Important person- There is no single person responsible for spreading or teaching belly dancing, but the film industry is a big part of the spread of belly dancing in the U.S. In the late 1800’s directors started using belly dancing in their films, and people soon started dancing the style in night clubs.
Fun Fact- Belly dancing is performed bare foot to be one with the earth.
Historically: this form of dance was influenced by Javanese culture. Over time classic Balinese culture was starting to disappear due to colonization, however tourism benefited the traditional dance, usually performed to the music of gong kebyar. The dances would reenact ancient Indian and Javanese stories.
Today: dance in Bali is a mixture of ancient forms and new creations. They are broken up into four categories: a) Sacred; b) Classical; c) New Creations; and d) Dance Drama.
Important person: A singular person was not responsible for Balinese dancing, however in 1931 at the Paris Colonial Exposition Bali and its dance forms were introduced to Europe.
Fun Fact: Bali dance is inseparable from their religion (Hinduism). The dances usually fulfilled specific functions, for example:
a) As a channel for visiting gods or demonic gods, the dancers acting as a sort of living repository. These trance dances include the Sang Hyang Dedari, with little girls in trance, and the Sang Hyang Jaran, a fire dance.
b) As a welcome for visiting gods, such as the pendet, rejang and sutri dances.
c) As entertainment for visiting gods, such as the topeng and the wayang.
Historically: Hula is a Polynesian style of dance historically used to tell stories and call forth certain Gods, or worship chiefs, but in the early 1800’s when the missionaries arrived in Hawaii hula was banned because it was not representative of Christian values.
Today: Hula is taught at every age and is a common club in High Schools. During a typical class instructors will teach movements usually accompanied with chants. Each movement has its own meaning.
Important person: King Kalakaua is the main reason that Hula made a comeback in Hawaii after the missionaries wiped it out. Kalakaua took away the restrictions of Hula and made it the star in Hawaiian culture.
Fun Fact: Historically only men performed Hula whereas today it is performed by men and women.
Thank You for Reading!