Dance Theory An Introduction to the Fundamentals A Little To Think About Dance Dance, or movement, is a natural activity that becomes an artistic expression when structured and
formed by the elements of dance design using compositional forms. Dance as a Form of Communication 1. How movement/ mime can be used to
portray various characters who tell a story, without speaking. 2. Dance is a language that you must understand.
Once learned students will be able to speak a dance sentence. The Elements of Dance 1. Space
A) Dance must move, the dancer cannot stay in one spot (direction) B) Big verses small, how the dancer can contort the body to make lines (shape)
C)Movement levels low (on the ground), medium (standing), high (up on toes or jumping) Space, Contd. Direction forward, backward, sideways, up, down, diagonal, in a circle Size large and small movements Pathways patterns we make as we
move through the air and on the floor. Even More About Space Level the vertical distance from the floor; low(on the ground), medium (standing up), high (up on tiptoes or jumping) Shape the design of the body as it exists in space
General VS. Kinesphere General Space The space shared by all; reaches beyond personal space. Kinesphere Personal space; The space reached while
stationary. More About Kinesphere Personal space is important when dealing with WHAT type of movements an individual can do in their own personal space (your movement reached while
stationary). 2. Time The dancer cannot dance everything at once, the movement must be sequenced. Time is the relationship of one movement or part of a movement
to another. Time, Contd. Dancers can move at different speeds fast and slow (tempo) Dancers count to keep in time with the music. It is important for the dancer to stay with the pulse
of the music (beat). More About Time - Terms Pulse The ongoing underlying beat. Speed How fast or slow the movement is. Duration The length of time the movement lasts; long, medium, or short.
Even More About Time??? Rhythm Patterns made by arranging long and short sounds or strong and light sounds. Phrases Longer sequences of movement. Beat - Steady
3. Force A. Heavy or light B. Sharp or smooth *** Different moves require different amounts of energy!!! Force, Contd.
Tension/relaxation Tension feels hard and tight; relaxation feels soft, loose and floppy. Flow bound or free; flow has to do with the ongoing movement; when energy is released freely, we describe the movement
as free flow; when the energy is release in a controlled, restrained manner, we describe the movement as bound. Even More About Force Weight Strength(force) or lightness.
Locomotor VS. Non-locomotor Locomotor movements are movements that usually travel through space. Non-locomotor
movements are movements that stay in one place. Locomotor Movements Walk Run Hop
Jump Leap Skip Gallop Slide Non Locomotor Movements Bend Stretch
In order for one to make a good, detailed analysis of a performance, one must understand a dance vocabulary basic terminology that describes the make up of dance and performances. This is also known as a movement vocabulary.
Dance Terminology Alignment Body placement or posture; proper alignment lessons body strain and promotes dance skills. Actions What the body is doing; this includes locomotor and nonlocomotor skills.
Terminology, Contd. Dance phrase A logical sequence of movements with an observable beginning, middle, and end. Dynamics The dance element which relates to how a movement is made. For example, time and space are two elements related to a performance.
Even More Terminology Qualities Characteristics of a movement. For example, are the movements small or large? Are they bound or free? Does the dancer perform at low, medium, or high levels?
More Terminology??? In dealing with dance performances, one must understand the relationships of dance the bodys position relative to something or someone.
Form Form is the structure of dance compositions. For example, how is the dance composed (locomotor vs. nonlocomotor movements? General vs. Kinespheric space)? Dance Composition
Principles of Composition Dance consists of sequences with a beginning, middle, and an end. Dance uses different movement phrases (brief sequences of related movements) to show variations. The following will be
addressed: Principles, Contd. A is a one part movement phrase in a specific tempo. AB(Binary Form) is a two-part movement phrase with B having a different tempo. ABA(Ternary Form) is a 3 part movement phrase with A being
repeated. Principles, Contd. Call & Response A dance in which one person or group moves first, then another
person or group moves in response to what the first group has done. When doing call and response, it is important to pay attention to the leader. Direction and Choreography Direction is the coaching/instructing from an
expert in the field. Most ballet and other modern dance corps direction comes from choreographers (veteran dancers), as well as dancers. Choreographer A choreographer is a
person who makes up the moves, positions, arrangements for a dance performance. Learning to Choreograph To be a choreographer you need to know the various dance steps,
why these were invented and what effects they can achieve on the stage. Learning, Contd. Choreographers must also know how to use the stage space and must understand
the basic principles of lighting and design. Even More Learning Other important qualities are a good understanding of music, and plenty of imagination and original ideas. Choreographers also need to be able
to work well with lots of different people and to be patient. It may take weeks to create a dance. Origin of Choreography The term comes from two Greek words, khoreia meaning choral dancing to music, and graphia
meaning writing. Choreography is one of the most important aspects of dance. How Choreography Developed Although people have been creating dances for thousands of years, choreography was only
developed as a separate skill in the early 1900s. Development, Contd. As modern dance developed, traditions were overturned and the process involved in creating a dance was analyzed much more. People realized that choreography required special skills and was
recognized as an art form. Steps To Choreography Although choreographers have an individual way of working, there is an exact method to creating a
performance: Steps to Choreographing a Performance: Step 1 1. The choreographer decides on a subject for a dance. This may be inspired by anything, from a piece of music to a painting or book, or even a beautiful building. Cats was inspired by one of T.S.
Eliots poems. Step 2 2. The choreographer then chooses dancers to perform the work by holding auditions. Sometimes dance is specially
made for a particular dancer. Step 3 3. The choreographer and dancers explore the subject for the dance by having discussions and sometimes an improvisation session where they try out ideas. Sometimes, they have to go through training to portray a certain person or
animal. Step 4 4. The choreographer rehearses the dancers, all the time working out how the dance should develop and if it works as a whole
(with the whole dance company). Step 4, Contd. As each sequence in the dance is decided, it is written down in dance notation, or motif symbols, by a professional notator, or choreologist. Understudies, or 2nd strings, are decided in case someone cannot perform or an emergency arises.
Even More on Step 4 The choreographer works with the lighting, set and costume designers, to produce the stage effects for the dance. For example, the set of Cats was designed to resemble a junkyard, where cars and other items are enlarged to make the dancers (or cats)
appear small and lifelike. FinallyThe Performance Eventually all the different elements are put together on stage, and last-minute changes are made (dress rehearsals).
The dance is now ready to be performed to an audience. Performance, Contd. This is the big moment: if anything goes wrong in the dance, the choreographer will probably get the blame!!!!
Other Dance Company Jobs Artistic Director Lighting Tech Musician Wardrobe Manager & Assistant Dancer Stage Manager
MORE ABOUT DANCE Purposes For Dance Recreational/Social Ceremonial/Ritual Artistic Performance Dance Therapy
Historical and Cultural Awareness There are similarities and differences in elements and principles of composition among forms of dance such as folk, square and line dancing. Dances of various cultures and
historical periods differ in steps and movement styles, as well as costumes. Different Types of Dance Alvin Ailey African American Choreographer whose work is noted for its intense
emotional power. Uses big gestures like wide-open arm movements. Founded American Dance Theater. Dances: female solo called Cry and Revelations danced to black spiritual songs. Some Different Dance Styles
Jazz Tap Ballet Contemporary
Rock n Roll Ballroom Salsa Contemporary Dance Contemporary dance began at the start of this century when Isadora Duncan broke away from ballet and invented a very individual style of dancing.
She developed a very free dance style, making sweeping movements with her body. Contemporary and Loie Fuller Loie Fuller used dramatic lighting and costumes to create fantasy effects. A number of people felt that classical ballet put too many restrictions on
how the body could move and limited the way dancers could express their feelings. More About Contemporary Dance Another American dancer, Martha Graham, developed a
contemporary dance technique which is now taught in many classes. Differences Between Ballet and Contemporary Dance Ballet: 1.
The shapes and patterns the dancers make nearly always look graceful and beautiful. 2. The body must be a particular size and shape, and is trained from a young age to achieve this. Ballet, Contd. 3. Dancers look light and leap through the air as if they are defying
gravity. 4. The basic steps are strictly defined. Every dancer learns these movements. Ballet, Contd. 5. Dances usually follow a story line and include different characters. 6. Dancers wear special clothes,
such as tutus, which show their movements clearly. Women wear special shoes for dancing on pointes (tiptoe). Contemporary 1.Dance can show the ugly as
well as the beautiful things that exist in life. 2. The body can be any weight and height provided it is strong and supple. Contemporary, Contd. 3. Many movements are based
on the floor. Dancers use the pull of gravity to tilt and fall. 4. There are many different styles of dancing which require various sorts of training. Contemporary, Contd. 5. Dances are often about ideas or moods, instead of telling a definite story.
6. Dancers wear all sorts of different clothes. They may wear very casual or very elaborate costumes. They often dance barefoot, or with a specialized sandal. Jazz Dance Jazz
dance first developed with jazz music in the 1920s. In the 1950s, as popular music changed, so did jazz dance. More About Jazz Dance Today, there are many different styles of jazz, danced to various
kinds of music. They all feature energetic and rhythmical movement. To do jazz you need to be fit and supple. Tap Dancing The movements of tap are concentrated in your feet.
Wearing shoes with metal toecaps, you tap out the rhythm of the music you are dancing to. Tap Dancing, Contd. To tap dance, you do not have to be as fit as you do for some other kinds of dance, but you need to move in a flowing, graceful way. You also need to have a good sense
of rhythm, since you will be dancing & tapping the beats of the music. Recorded VS. Live Performance
1. Do not get caught up in the emotion and moment of the performance. 2. You get a more total (overall) view of the performance rather than closecaptioned shots. 3. More special effects can be utilized with live performance.
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