Portal:Dance


Introduction

Two dancers.jpg

Dance is a performing art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value, and is acknowledged as dance by performers and observers within a particular culture. Dance can be categorized and described by its choreography, by its repertoire of movements, or by its historical period or place of origin.

An important distinction is to be drawn between the contexts of theatrical and participatory dance, although these two categories are not always completely separate; both may have special functions, whether social, ceremonial, competitive, erotic, martial, or sacred/liturgical. Other forms of human movement are sometimes said to have a dance-like quality, including martial arts, gymnastics, cheerleading, figure skating, synchronized swimming, marching bands, and many other forms of athletics.

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A bboy performing in a cipher for a crowd in Turkey.
Hip Hop dance refers to dance styles primarily danced to hip hop music or that have evolved as a part of the hip hop culture. This includes a wide range of styles such as breaking, popping, locking, and krumping. Breaking, locking, and popping were developed in the 1970s by Black and Latino Americans. Krumping followed in the 1990s and was developed by Black Americans in Compton, CA.

What separates hip hop dance from other forms of dance is that it is often improvisational (freestyle) in nature and hip hop dancers frequently engage in battles—formal or informal one on one dance competitions. Freestyle sessions and battles are usually performed in a cipher, a circular dance space which forms naturally once the dancing begins. It was DJ Afrika Bambaataa that outlined the five pillars of hip hop culture including breaking as one of them (along with rapping, DJing, beatboxing, and graffiti).

The dance industry responded to hip hop dance by creating a more commercial version of it. This "studio hip hop", sometimes called new style is the kind of hip hop dancing seen in most rap and R&B music videos. Technically speaking, hip hop dance (new style hip hop that is) is characterized as hard hitting. The feet are grounded, the chest is down, and the body is kept loose so that a dancer can easily alternate between hitting the beat or riding through the beat. This is in contrast to ballet or ballroom dancing where the chest is upright and the body is stiff. In addition, new style hip hop is very rhythmic and there's a lot of emphasis placed on musicality—how sensitive your movements are to the music.

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A tap dancer jumping into the air
Cr: Airborne tap dancer, photo by Lambtron

Tap dance is a form of dance in which the shoes worn by the dancer, known as tap shoes, are used as percussive instruments. The percussive sounds are made by metal "taps" on the heel and toe of each shoe.

Did you know

Stella Bloch

... that Stella Bloch (pictured) headlined in New York after she returned from learning Javanese dancing at the Prince of Solo's palace?

... that Rosina Galli was the prima ballerina at La Scala Theatre Ballet before she became the première danseuse at the Metropolitan Opera House?

... that LeRoy Prinz, who staged dances in dozens of Hollywood movies in the 1930s and 1940s, was more an "idea man" than a choreographer, using simple steps and dance routines?

... that Tatjana Gsovsky, ballet mistress at opera houses in East Berlin, Buenos Aires and West Berlin, first choreographed ballets by Henze and Nono?

...that the score of Giselle contains additions by Léon Minkus?

... that in 2008, the Romanian ballet mistress Mijaela Tesleoanu was one of only two non-Cubans on the payroll of the Cuban National Ballet?

Selected biography

Marius Ivanovich Petipa -Feb. 14 1898.JPG
Marius Petipa (born Victor Marius Alphonse Petipa on 11 March 1818 in Marseille, Kingdom of France) was a ballet dancer, teacher, and choreographer. His mother was an actress and drama teacher, while his father was a ballet master and teacher.

Petipa is noted for his long career as Premier Maître de Ballet of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres, a position he held from 1871 until 1903. He created over fifty ballets, some of which have survived in versions either faithful to, inspired by, or reconstructed from the original: The Pharaoh's Daughter (1862); Don Quixote (1869); La Bayadère (1877); Le Talisman (1889); The Sleeping Beauty (1890); etc.

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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Lautrec la troupe de mlle eglantine (poster) 1895-6

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