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Dance Concepts Review

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DANCE CONCEPTS
REVIEW
SPACE
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SIZE: large, small
LEVEL: high, mid-level, low
SHAPE: curved, straight
DIRECTIONS: forward, backward, sideways,
diagonal, upward, downward
• PATHWAY: straight, curved, circular, zig-zag
• RELATIONSHIPS: near, apart
• FOCUS: a central point or focus of attention; can
be single or multiple
TIME
• SPEED OR TEMPO: slow, fast, acceleration,
deceleration
• BEAT: pulse (steady, accented or irregular)
FORCE
The use of energy while moving
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CHOREOGRAPH: To compose a dance
CHOREOGRAPHY: The art of arranging dances
CONTRAST: Difference between related things
TRANSITION: Passing from one action or place
to another
• PARTS OF EVERY DANCE: A beginning
shape, middle movements, a final shape
FORCE, continued
LOCOMOTOR
•MOVEMENT FROM PLACE TO PLACE-TRAVELS
•Jump, hop, skip, walk, run, slide, leap, roll, crawl,
gallop
NON-LOCOMOTOR or AXIAL
•MOVEMENT IN PLACE
•Stretch, contract, turn, bend, balance, twist, shake,
gesture, push, pull, rise, fall, dodge, sway
PURPOSES OF DANCE
CEREMONIAL: Of, relating to, or forming a
ceremony: Celebration, Initiation, Hunting,
Religious
RECREATIONAL: Way of refreshing mind or
body: Folk, Social
ARTISTIC: Characteristic of art or artists,
showing skill and imagination, for an audience,
expresses thoughts or feelings; Ballet, Jazz
COMPOSITIONAL FORMS
• AB: perform one movement phrase or theme followed
by a different movement phrase or theme;
• ABA: Perform one movement phrase or theme followed
by a different movement phrase or theme, followed then
by a repetition of the first movement phrase or theme;
• CALL AND RESPONSE: A caller verbally directs
the actions to be performed and the dancers respond by
doing the action, or the music calls out and dancers
react or a voice calls out and voices respond or dancers
initiate and music responds. Often associated with
African music and dance but also used elsewhere.
COLONIAL AMERICAN DANCE
• European origin
• Wealthy learned from Dancing Masters, others from
imitating;
• Posture – upright, straight, light
• Mostly feet moving
• Often in two lines facing. Men and women together.
Non-democratic. Top couple most important
• Most Recreational purpose
• A later dance KERA calls Colonial: Virginia Reel
• Music: fiddle, flute, sometimes piano. Occasional voice
as music.
NATIVE AMERICAN DANCE
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Grounded (low level) – respecting Earth
Learned from community or elders
Posture – knees bent. Upper body sometimes upright, sometimes bent
over.
Mostly feet moving
Mostly Ceremonial purpose (today also Artistic and Recreational)
Themes of nature, animals, spirits, initiation, hunting, life cycle events
Call and Response: dancer responds to drum sounds
Music – drums, rattles, voice. Traditionally flute only for courting
Often in a circle
Often women only or men only – different movements for each gender
Women’s dances have meanings
Men’s dances tell stories
Examples: Friendship Dance, Round Dance, Bear Dance
WEST AFRICAN DANCE
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Grounded (low level) – respecting Earth, occasional leaps
Learned from community
Posture – bent knees, many body parts move in isolation to different rhythms at the
same time. Often flat, bare feet
Mostly Ceremonial purpose. But could be Artistic for dancing before the Chief or
King or could be Recreational.
Themes of nature, animals, spirits, initiation, life cycle events, work
Movements sharp, energetic, strong, big, free flow. Although often low, can be high.
Call and Response: dancer responds to drum sounds, sometimes drum responds to
dancer, voices respond to each other. Dancers play the drum sounds with their
bodies.
Music – drums, rattles, gourds, percussion voice. Often fast, use of pulse, pattern,
breath
Often in a circle or line following a circular path with musicians in the center
Sometimes tell stories through a dance
Often women only or men only – different movements for each gender
All dancers equal, but with a chance to solo supported by the community
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