"Dance Misconceptions:It Is A Sport" Essay

1058 words - 4 pages

As a well-established and extensively trained dancer I find the long-term misconceptions of dance quite irritating. The definition of dance has become outdated and it is disheartening to recognize that the overall public's opinion of the subject is limited to what is assumed and not actually perceived. Dance is not just ballet. It has developed from its original form and has profoundly changed over time because of significant influences from people, society, and specified cultures. The general public's obsolete perception of dance reveals the hidden ignorance among most and must be changed before another dancer is overlooked as just another means of entertainment.It is not wrong for a person to associate ballet with dance; however, it is not right for that person to confine his thinking to just that one technique. Ballet was the original dance form that was "made official" Louis XIV, an early patron of this art form, and its original purpose was to entertain kings and courts, but that was over three and a half centuries ago. Like our vocabulary, dance has also developed and been modified to accommodate our society. With our world being more susceptible to change, our abstract ways of thinking and expression have been incorporated into dance so that it is no longer limited to the structured and formalized ballet style, but is more open to anything ranging from impromptu dance to dance focused primarily on the isolation of the lower body.Developed in the twentieth century, primarily in the United States and Germany, modern dance resembles art and music in being experimental and iconoclastic. Modern dance began at the turn of the century. Some of its pioneers, Isadora Duncan, Loie Fuller, and Ruth St. Denis, each rebelled against the rigid formalism, pretense, and superficiality of classical academic ballet and against the banality of show dancing, obviously supporting the idea of the name given to this type of dance, modern. From their contributions of this new approach to bodily expression, other, later influential persons also played a significant role in adding to the affluence of dance.Using the principles of contraction and release as the foundation for her technique, Martha Graham built a vocabulary of movement that would "increase the emotional activity of the dancer's body." Graham's dancing and choreography exposed the depths of human emotion through movements that were sharp angular, jagged, and direct. Lester Horton became one of the country's most influential choreographers, incorporating such diverse elements as Native American dancers and modern jazz into works of striking originality and drama. Alvin Ailey, a widely recognizable name in African American dance became known for his signature dances in which Negro spirituals were the source of inspiration.As the idea of modern became more widespread and accepted, other techniques of dance were also slowly introduced and tested the boundaries of dance. Not only had there been ballet, and...

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