AskDefine | Define dance

Dictionary Definition

dance

Noun

1 an artistic form of nonverbal communication
2 a party of people assembled for dancing
3 taking a series of rhythmical steps (and movements) in time to music [syn: dancing, terpsichore, saltation]
4 a party for social dancing

Verb

1 move in a graceful and rhythmical way; "The young girl danced into the room"
2 move in a pattern; usually to musical accompaniment; do or perform a dance; "My husband and I like to dance at home to the radio" [syn: trip the light fantastic, trip the light fantastic toe]
3 skip, leap, or move up and down or sideways; "Dancing flames"; "The children danced with joy"

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From dance (noun), dancer (verb) (modern danse, danser), of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

Noun

  1. A sequence of rhythmic steps or movements performed to music, for pleasure or as a form of social interaction.
  2. A social gathering where dancing is designed to take place.
  3. A fess that has been modified to zig-zag across the center of a coat of arms from dexter to sinister.
  4. A genre of modern music characterised by sampled beats, repetitive rhythms and few lyrics.

Translations

movements to music

Verb

  1. To move with rhythmic steps or movements, especially in time to music.
    I danced with her all night long.
  2. To leap or move rapidly with strong emotion.
    His eyes danced with pleasure as he spoke.
  3. To perform the steps to.
    Have you ever danced the tango?

Translations

move rhythmically to music

Etymology

From dance.

Noun

dance

Extensive Definition

Dance (from French danser, perhaps from Frankish) generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting. Dance is also used to describe methods of non-verbal communication (see body language) between humans or animals (bee dance, patterns of behaviour such as a mating dance), motion in inanimate objects (the leaves danced in the wind), and certain musical forms or genres. In sports, gymnastics, figure skating and synchronized swimming are dance disciplines while martial arts kata are often compared to dances.
Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on social, cultural, aesthetic, artistic and moral constraints and range from functional movement (such as folk dance) to virtuoso techniques such as ballet. Dance can be participatory, social or performed for an audience. It can also be ceremonial, competitive or erotic. Dance movements may be without significance in themselves, such as in ballet or European folk dance, or have a gestural vocabulary/symbolic system as in many Asian dances. Dance can embody or express ideas, emotions or tell a story.
Dancing has evolved many styles. Breakdancing and Krumping are related to the hip hop culture. African dance is interpretive. Ballet, Ballroom, Waltz, and Tango are classical styles of dance while Square and the Electric Slide are forms of step dances.
Choreography is the art of creating dances, and the person who does this is called a choreographer.

Origins and history of dance

Dance does not leave behind clearly identifiable physical artifacts such as stone tools, hunting implements or cave paintings. It is not possible to say when dance became part of human culture. Dance has certainly been an important part of ceremony, rituals, celebrations and entertainment since before the birth of the earliest human civilizations. Archeology delivers traces of dance from prehistoric times such as the 9,000 year old Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka paintings in India and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures from circa 3300 BC.
One of the earliest structured uses of dances may have been in the performance and in the telling of myths. It was also sometimes used to show feelings for one of the opposite gender. It is also linked to the origin of "love making." Before the production of written languages, dance was one of the methods of passing these stories down from generation to generation.
Another early use of dance may have been as a precursor to ecstatic trance states in healing rituals. Dance is still used for this purpose by many cultures from the Brazilian rainforest to the Kalahari Desert.
Sri Lankan dances goes back to the mythological times of aboriginal yingyang twins and "yakkas" (devils). According to a Sinhalese legend, Kandyan dances originate, 2500 years ago, from a magic ritual that broke the spell on a bewitched king. Many contemporary dance forms can be traced back to historical, traditional, ceremonial, and ethnic dances.

Dance classification and genres

Dance categories by number of interacting dancers are mainly Solo dance, Partner dance and Group dance. Dance is performed for various purposes like Ceremonial dance, Erotic dance, Performance dance, Social dance etc.

Dancing and music

Many early forms of music and dance were created and performed together. This paired development has continued through the ages with dance/music forms such as: Jig, Waltz, Tango, Disco, Salsa, Electronica and Hip-Hop. Some musical genres also have a parallel dance form such as Baroque music and Baroque dance whereas others developed separately: Classical music and Classical ballet.
Although dance is often accompanied by music, it can also be presented independently or provide its own accompaniment (tap dance). Dance presented with music may or may not be performed in time to the music depending on the style of dance. Dance performed without music is said to be danced to its own rhythm.
Ballroom dancing is a sport as well as an art form. It incorporates many fitness components using an artistic state of mind.

Dance studies and techniques

In the early 1920s, dance studies (dance practice, critical theory, Musical analysis and history) began to be considered an academic discipline. Today these studies are an integral part of many universities' arts and humanities programs. By the late 20th century the recognition of practical knowledge as equal to academic knowledge lead to the emergence of practice research and practice as research. A large range of dance courses are available including:
A full range of Academic degrees are available from BA (Hons) to PhD and other postdoctoral fellowships, with many dance scholars taking up their studies as mature students after a professional dance career.

Dance competitions

A dance competition is an organized event in which contestants perform dances before a judge or judges for awards and, in some cases, monetary prizes. There are several major types of dance competitions, distinguished primarily by the style or styles of dances performed. Major types of dance competitions include:

Dance occupations

There are different careers connected with dancing: Dancer, dance teacher, dance sport coach, dance therapist and choreographer. Dance training differs depending on the dance form. There are university programs and schools associated with professional dance companies for specialised training in classical dance (e.g. Ballet) and modern dance. There are also smaller, privately owned dance studios where students may train in a variety of dance forms including competitive dance forms (e.g. Latin dance, ballroom dance, etc.) as well as ethnic/traditional dance forms.
Professional dancers are usually employed on contract or for particular performances/productions. The professional life of a dancer is generally one of constantly changing work situations, strong competition pressure and low pay. Professional dancers often need to supplement their income, either in dance related roles (e.g., dance teaching, dance sport coaches, yoga or Pilates instruction) to achieve financial stability.
In the U.S. many professional dancers are members of unions such as the American Guild of Musical Artists, the Screen Actors Guild and Actors' Equity Association. The unions help determine working conditions and minimum salaries for their members.
Dance teacher and operators of dance schools rely on reputation and marketing. For dance forms without an association structure such as Salsa or Tango Argentino they may not have formal training. Most dance teachers are self employed. Dancesport coaches are tournament dancers or former dancesports people, and may be recognised by a dance sport federation. Choreographers are generally university trained and are typically employed for particular projects or, more rarely may work on contract as the resident choreographer for a specific dance company. A choreographic work is protected intellectual property. Dancers may undertake their own choreography.

Dance by ethnicity or region

Dance in South Asia

India

During the first millennium BCE in India, many texts were composed which attempted to codify aspects of daily life. In the matter of dance, Bharata Muni's Natyashastra (literally "the text of dramaturgy") is the one of the earlier texts. Though the main theme of Natyashastra deals with drama, dance is also widely featured, and indeed the two concepts have ever since been linked in Indian culture. The text elaborates various hand-gestures or mudras and classifies movements of the various limbs of the body, gait, and so on. The Natyashastra categorised dance into four groups and into four regional varieties, naming the groups: secular, ritual, abstract, and, interpretive. However, concepts of regional geography has altered and so have regional varieties of Indian dances. Dances like "Odra Magadhi", which after decades long debate, has been traced to present day Mithila-Orissa region's dance form of Odissi, indicate influence of dances in cultural interactions between different regions.
From these beginnings rose the various classical styles which are recognised today. Therefore, all Indian classical dances are to varying degrees rooted in the Natyashastra and therefore share common features: for example, the mudras, some body positions, and the inclusion of dramatic or expressive acting or abhinaya. The Indian classical music tradition provides the accompaniment for the dance, and as percussion is such an integral part of the tradition, the dancers of nearly all the styles wear bells around their ankles to counterpoint and complement the percussion.

Bhangra in the Punjab

The Punjab area overlapping India and Pakistan is the place of origin of Bhangra. It is widely known both as a style of music and a dance. It is mostly related to ancient harvest celebrations, love, patriotism or social issues. Its music is coordinated by a musical instrument called the 'Dhol'. Bhangra is not just music but a dance, a celebration of the harvest where people beat the dhol (drum), sing Boliyaan (lyrics) and dance.

Dances of Sri Lanka

The devil dances of Sri Lanka or "yakun natima" are a carefully crafted ritual with a history reaching far back into Sri Lanka's pre-Buddhist past. It combines ancient "Ayurvedic" concepts of disease causation with psychological manipulation. The dance combines many aspects including Sinhalese cosmolgy, the dances also has an impact on the classical dances of Sri Lanka.

In Europe and North America

Concert (or performance) dance

Ballet
Ballet developed first in Italy and then in France from lavish court spectacles that combined music, drama, poetry, song, costumes and dance. Members of the court nobility took part as performers. During the reign of Louis XIV, himself a dancer, dance became more codified. Professional dancers began to take the place of court amateurs, and ballet masters were licensed by the French government. The first ballet dance academy was the Académie Royale de Danse (Royal Dance Academy), opened in Paris in 1661. Shortly thereafter, the first institutionalized ballet troupe, associated with the Academy, was formed; this troupe began as an all-male ensemble but by 1681 opened to include women as well.
20th century concert dance
At the beginning of the 20th century, there was an explosion of innovation in dance style characterized by an exploration of freer technique. Early pioneers of what became known as modern dance include Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Mary Wigman and Ruth St. Denis. The relationship of music to dance serves as the basis for Eurhythmics, devised by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, which was influential to the development of Modern dance and modern ballet through artists such as Marie Rambert. Eurythmy, developed by Rudolf Steiner and Marie Steiner-von Sivers, combines formal elements reminiscent of traditional dance with the new freer style, and introduced a complex new vocabulary to dance. In the 1920s, important founders of the new style such as Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey began their work. Since this time, a wide variety of dance styles have been developed; see Modern dance.

The influence of African American dance

African American dances are those dances which have developed within African American communities in everyday spaces, rather than in dance studios, schools or companies and its derivatives, tap dance, disco, jazz dance, swing dance, hip hop dance and breakdance. Other dances, such as the lindy hop with its relationship to rock and roll music and rock and roll dance have also had a global influence.hello lol

Further reading

  • Adshead-Lansdale, J. (Ed) (1994) Dance History: An Introduction. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-09030-X
  • Carter, A. (1998) The Routledge Dance Studies Reader. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-16447-8
  • Cohen, S, J. (1992) Dance As a Theatre Art: Source Readings in Dance History from 1581 to the Present. Princeton Book Co. ISBN 0-87127-173-7
  • Charman, S. Kraus, R, G. Chapman, S. and Dixon-Stowall, B. (1990) History of the Dance in Art and Education. Pearson Education. ISBN 0-13-389362-6
  • Daly, A. (2002) Critical Gestures: Writings on Dance and Culture. Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 0-8195-6566-0
  • Dils, A. (2001) Moving History/Dancing Cultures: A Dance History Reader. Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 0-8195-6413-3
  • Miller, James, L. (1986) Measures of Wisdom: The Cosmic Dance in Classical and Christian Antiquity, University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0802025536

References

External links

dance in Min Nan Chinese: Bú-tō
dance in Afrikaans: Dans
dance in Arabic: رقص
dance in Aragonese: Danza
dance in Asturian: Danza
dance in Bambara: Dɔnke
dance in Bengali: নৃত্য
dance in Min Nan: Bú-tō
dance in Breton: Dañs
dance in Bulgarian: Танц
dance in Catalan: Dansa
dance in Cebuano: Sayaw
dance in Czech: Tanec
dance in Corsican: Baddu
dance in Welsh: Dawns
dance in Danish: Dans
dance in German: Tanz
dance in Estonian: Tants
dance in Modern Greek (1453-): Χορός
dance in Spanish: Danza
dance in Esperanto: Danco
dance in Basque: Dantza
dance in Persian: رقص
dance in French: Danse
dance in Western Frisian: Dûns
dance in Friulian: Bal
dance in Irish: Damhsa
dance in Galician: Danza
dance in Korean: 춤
dance in Hindi: नृत्य
dance in Croatian: Ples
dance in Indonesian: Dansa
dance in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Dansa
dance in Icelandic: Dans
dance in Italian: Danza
dance in Hebrew: ריקוד
dance in Georgian: ცეკვა
dance in Lao: ການຟ້ອນລຳ
dance in Latin: Saltatio
dance in Luxembourgish: Danz
dance in Lithuanian: Šokis
dance in Limburgan: Dans
dance in Lojban: dansu
dance in Hungarian: Tánc
dance in Malayalam: നൃത്തം
dance in Marathi: नृत्य
dance in Mazanderani: Səma
dance in Malay (macrolanguage): Tarian
nah:Mācēhualiztli
dance in Dutch: Dans
dance in Dutch Low Saxon: Daans
dance in Newari: नर्तकी
dance in Japanese: ダンス
dance in Neapolitan: Ballo
dance in Norwegian: Dans
dance in Norwegian Nynorsk: Dans
dance in Narom: Dans'sie
dance in Occitan (post 1500): Dança
dance in Pangasinan: Sayaw
dance in Pushto: ګډا، نڅا
dance in Low German: Danz
dance in Polish: Taniec
dance in Portuguese: Dança
dance in Romanian: Dans
dance in Quechua: Tusuy
dance in Russian: Танец
dance in Sanskrit: नृत्य
dance in Scots: Dance
dance in Sicilian: Ballu
dance in Simple English: Dance
dance in Slovak: Tanec
dance in Slovenian: Ples
dance in Serbian: Плес
dance in Finnish: Tanssi
dance in Swedish: Dans
dance in Tagalog: Sayaw
dance in Tamil: நடனம்
dance in Thai: การเต้นรำ
dance in Tajik: Рақс
dance in Turkish: Dans
dance in Ukrainian: Танець
dance in Venetian: Bało
dance in Võro: Tands
dance in Walloon: Danse
dance in Waray (Philippines): Sayaw
dance in Yiddish: טאנץ
dance in Chinese: 舞蹈

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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