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The Power of Dance

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The Power of Dance
from Gerald Jonas’
Dancing
Edited by Dr. Kay Picart
and Jessica LabbГ©
Based on a presentation
by Juan Baez
Aims
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To show that “All dance is charged with power.”
(17)
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To illustrates why dance is a powerful tool within
a social context.
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To illustrate why and how dance holds a unique
and central power in various world cultures.
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To learn about the history and personality of
other cultures through the art of dancing.
Discussion Question:
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What role do you
perceive dance
playing in your
society, if any?
Key Theme:
The Power of Dance
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“The impulse to move is the raw material
that culture shapes into evocative
sequences of physical activity that we call
dance” (12).
Review Questions:
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Why does Jonas refer
to Yeats’ quote “ How
can we know the
dancer from the
dance”? (12)
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What does this mean?
Discussion Question:
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How is Jonas’
definition of dance
similar and/or
different from the
previous articles we
have discussed in
class?
Review Question:
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What examples does Jonas use to
illustrate the cultural impact of dance
within Cambodian society?
Discussion Question:
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What other examples
provided by Jonas
illustrate the
importance of dancers
in Cambodia?
From the Cambodian Dance
Robom Pream
http://www.netaxs.com/~tskramer/reptoire.html
Review
Question:
Briefly describe what
is unique about
Cambodian Dance.
Understanding Dance
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Dance anthropology explores dance within
its social and cultural context.
 “Encoded in form, technique, and
structure of every dance are meanings
and values of importance to the dancers
and to those who share their view of the
world.” (17)
Review Question:
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Name some rituals that have a dance-like
element to them.
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Discuss the role of dance in these rituals.
Review Question:
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Give examples of how
descriptions of other culture’s
dances reveal imperialist
frameworks.
Discussion Question:
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Is it possible for us to
study another culture
or society without
projecting our own
morals and beliefs on
it?
Review Question:
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Explain the genesis and symbolisms embedded in
ballet as a form of court entertainment.
Discussion Question:
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What are the implications of Western
European Dance changing from
participatory entertainment to visual
entertainment?
Review Question:
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What is unique to
Native American
Dances such as the
Snake Dance and
Ghost Dance?
Native American Fancy Dance
http://library.thinkquest.org/3081/fancy.htm
Review Question:
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What are the main characteristics and
functions of trance and spiritual
communication in relation to dance?
Review Question:
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Why are the Pullavas outcasts within a
society that deems them so important?
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What purpose do they serve?
Final Question:
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As is the case with
any mode of
expression, do you
think that dance can
be a manipulative tool
in/on a society? Why
or why not?
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