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The Art of Dance Through the Ages


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Dance is defined as, moving rhythmically usually to music, using prescribed or improvised steps and gestures. Dancing was not always accepted by society as a whole. Certain conservative and religious groups objected to the practice of dance, and delivered harsh criticisms to prevent disorder. DanceFacts. Net talks about how it all began somewhere, similar to the art of cave drawings, dance began with ancient rituals, social events and spiritual forums. It began in Africa among the tribes to represent spiritual force, pleasure, expression, and interaction. They began by covering themselves in war-paint to the rhythm of the music as they moved among each other across the world. After several thousand years dance has infused itself into our lives, fascinating and impacting many people.

Starting 9000 years ago ancient cave drawing found in India indicated many social gathering with dancing and drinking. The true widespread of dance was the third millennia BC, this is when there was fundamental movement during religious Egyptian ceremonies. These ceremonies consisted of people mimicking stories of gods and cosmic patterns. Later continuing traditions to Ancient Greece was a very public interaction. Due to the popularity dance found its way to being the foundation of the famous Greek theatre in 6th century BC. As generations evolved after the olympic games began a form of Hindu dancing, “Bharatanatyam” became popular and is still danced today.

Dance was not all for religion purposes, it was often used for celebration, entertainment, and seduction. By 1400 BC  groups of girls dressed up, danced for the wealthy men trying to get there attention. This entertainment continued being refined, until medieval times and the start of the Renaissance. During this period ballet became integral part of the wealthy class. Other dances was the “chain shaped” dance practiced by commoners was most widespread across Europe. Spain, France and Italy were soon surpassed by Baroque dances which was popular in French and English courts.

An interesting form of dance was developed 300-400 years ago during African Slave trade in Brazil. Due to the practice of martial arts being prohibited, a form of dance call capoeira was developed. It is a mix of dancing and fighting that they still perform today.

After the end of French Revolution, many new dances emerged with a essential need for less restrictive woman clothing, and tendency for skipping and jumping. These dances had a flavor full of energy by 1844 with the beginning of the “international polka craze” which also brought us into the famous waltz. Currently, in the United Kingdom there is over 200 dance companies all maintained by around thirty thousand people.

Finally leading into the great ballroom dance, creating intricate, and complicated way of moving. After those early years of 20th century many modern dances were invented (Foxtrot, One-Step, Tango, Postmodern, Hip-hop, breakdancing and more) and the expansion of expression and music brought those dances into worldwide popularity.

After thousands of years of evolution, dance remains one of the most expressive and beautiful forms of oneself today. There are thousands of different styles all considered a form of art that should be noticed and appreciated. So although it was not accepted at first, these obstacles diminished over time in society to an era in which dance was not only a religious ritual but also a powerful social tool.

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The Art of Dance Through the Ages