Thursday, March 24, 2011

Essay on Dance

Essay on Dance

Did you know that dancing is an art form? Do you know what dance is? Well here are the three classic forms: ballet, modern, and jazz. There are many forms of dance, but these three are the most intricate, involving a technique only gained through years of training. Dancing is a self expression that can be done in numerous ways. All dance forms use emotions as inspiration. Since there are many human emotions, there are many forms of dance. All forms are better attained by training in the classic styles of dance.

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Ballet is viewed as the basis for all great dancers. This is because of it’s complex and difficult structure of movement. The movement of ballet is created from turnout from the hip, the five positions of the feet, pointe (work on top of toes), extensions (lines made by extending legs out), elevation (balance and height of jumps), and beats (fast actions of bringing legs together). The form of ballet when mastered is a beautiful spectacle. It can be described as elegant and refined. Ballet portrays a poetic picture of art within all its movements. The steps done create a picture which then tells the story. A ballet is used to portray stories, other styles do too, but ballets are famous because of their stories. The Nutcracker is a prime example of a Christmas ballet. Also known for their beauty are Swan Lake and the Sleeping Beauty. Good examples of a ballet today can be seen performed by the American Ballet Theater or New York City Ballet. This form of dance is the most formidable to conquer because of it’s complexity.

The next style of dance broke away from the strict structure of ballet to create a new free form. This form is referred to as modern or contemporary. Contemporary is used because the movement is so free it is constantly creating and defining steps. It’s movement is based upon using gravity, momentum, breathing, and abstract ideas to create steps. A major player in modern dance is the use of gravity and balance. The natural momentum of the body falling or turning because of gravity generates movement. More commonly than not modern is an abstract style. Modern dance is very experimental, not always having themes or a story, making it abstract. Modern uses many things as inspiration, which other styles also do, but modern is more known for it. It often takes everyday ideas or actions and makes a statement of feeling through the new movement. A basic example would be to look at a picture of a dolphin and make a movement reflecting the actions of dolphins. An example of modern dance can be seen performed by the Paul Taylor Company or the Alvin Ailey Company. Modern/contemporary dance is a very abstract form which always moves toward new ideas to be more free.

Jazz, one of the most popular forms of dancing, is usually a more upbeat and fast tempo movement. A wide variety of styles are covered in this form. The different types of jazz include: classic/stylized, lyrical, and street-funk. The classic/stylized form consists of regular clear lines (definite shapes of the body) and sharp (fast and precise) movements. These movements can be quick but also have a flow to them. It goes hand and hand with musical theater. This is the kind you would see in a Broadway show like Fosse or Chicago (show or movie), a Las Vegas show, or in a TV show like “Fame”. Lyrical, another form of jazz, encompasses a more ballet look and feel.

The motions are usually slower and have a fluidity that creates longer lines and to express stronger emotions. Ballad songs are the main music used when creating a lyrical dance. The movement is strongly based on the lyrics of the song and expresses a similar if not the same idea. Street-funk is very similar and related to hip-hop. But it falls under jazz because it uses more technical movements that come from jazz. Street-funk is sometimes called jazz-funk or just funk. This style of jazz uses the modern hip-hop touch to create fast and fun dances. The low (to the ground) brisk style is best described as explosive. It can be seen in lots of cheerleading competitions or even more so in dance competitions. A new example is the TV show the “Wade Robson Project”. Jazz style movement is based on technique from ballet but uses it in an unfixed form.

After learning and training in these forms of dance one is able to apply them. The classic styles are not the only kinds of dance. There are many forms that come from every culture which makes a wide range movement. This variety invites for easily expressing ideas that a person may have about anything. An expression through dance is artistic, because the majority of what is created is based on the aesthetics of the movement. The way it looks is what determines what it means, as in what is written in a book tells what it is about. Dance can be exciting, boring, difficult, easy, old, new, etc. As long as there is an expression of movement, art is created. Therefore any dancing is art.

The world of dance is very complex. There are many forms that fall under these three main categories. The forms - ballet, modern, and jazz are the beginnings of a technical dancer. The descriptions are a general overview to relate to the average person these classic forms of dance.

Dance is an expressive form to let out the feelings and ideas that people have everyday. An art form is dance. Creating art through dancing is achieved by training in the classic forms of dance. Now you know, or at least have an idea…

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