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History And Etymology of Dance

Updated on March 21, 2011


Dance, one of the three main performing arts in ancient times with the theater and music, is expressed in human motion in accordance with a prearranged plan or improvised: the choreography. Often accompanied by music or sound compositions, dance, language and tradition of folk dance can also be called dancing. Dance is the first artistic expression of the human race because he has the body as an instrument. It was (and is) part of the rituals, prayers, get-together in community festivals and also during aggregation between people (a current example it is the dance in discos). In any case, over the centuries this art has always been a mirror of society, thought and human behavior. The dance can best express our feelings through body language. Every movement is not run only with arms and legs, but also with mind and heart. All in their lives can be said to have danced because this is a natural action, no one can be defined as incapable This must be built in time, with patience, perseverance and determination.


History And Etymology

The history of dance is a huge discipline, not only because there are many forms of dance, but also because, as body art in motion, it is the only art that takes place simultaneously in time and space. With regard to the history of dance as an art form of entertainment, the dance has always constituted one of the levels of expression of the theater. Tragedy and comedy of ancient Greece, the "chorus" was expressed mainly in the dance space in front of the stage building called orchestra. The fact that in that space choir danced not only explains the etymology of the word "orchestra", which derives from the verb dance, but it is also why in many modern languages ​​the words that refer to Dance (Italian: "choreography", "dance" French Chorégraphie, choreutique; English: choreography, choreutic) carry within them the greek etymology Koros. The Italian word "dance", however, as the French danse, English and German dance tanz derived from the root tan (Sanskrit), which is associated with the concept of "joy".

In ancient civilizations, Indian, Chinese and Egyptian dance wanted to depict the harmonious progress of the stars. The Greeks laid the dance under the protection of the muse, making it a symbol of their culture. For the Romans, however, took the form of pantomime, continuing to turn to depravity. With the coming of Christianity, even if this was accepted in the rites in the churches, was later condemned by the Church during the Middle Ages disappeared from the liturgy, and survived in the form of folk dance. In the following development of instrumental music, dance expanded especially in the Italian courts during the seventeenth century and especially in France, where it was practiced in particular in the royal palaces as fine art. The dance became a real art over the centuries and many were born choreographer, who in the nineteenth century were performed in prestigious venues as the Paris Opera and La Scala in Milan.

Dance genres

Dance, both in time and space, has developed into many forms. The names that follow relate mainly to its evolution as the performing arts. If they can find different kinds.

Medieval dance

Known various kinds:

the ballad, or dance in a line or in groups,

the patrol, or a dance in a circle,

the virelai (will turn from the verb which means "twisting") or a dance with a twist,

the carol, which a dance in a circle;


The ballet or "academic" is one of the most popular forms of dance theater, and certainly the oldest. Its origin comes directly from Italy, the Renaissance court dances, commissioned by Louis XIV (Sun King). But the genre was soon taken up by the Court of France, which developed it and brought it to its highest expression in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. For this reason, the terminology of classical ballet is French. Moreover, in the nineteenth century, was introduced the use of pointe shoes, originally used by men to appear higher in the dancing, and later they were adopted by women.

Modern dance

The modern dance was developed at the beginning of the twentieth century in Northern Europe with Rudolf Laban and Mary Wigman and the United States of America started with free expressions of Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis. It is then defined with various techniques with Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman and Jose Limon.

Neoclassical ballet

While referring to the academic technique, the neo-classical dance uses a language close to that of classical ballet with modern dance attitudes. The Dance is a neo-classical style of ballet, or ballet, which was founded at the turn of the twentieth century in the United States of America, thanks to the Russian-born American choreographer George Balanchine. It is a form that develops in the opposite direction is the free dance of Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis, or the Modern Dance Modern Dance in America always initiated by Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. The neo-classical dance, as opposed to new forms of dance, takes advantage of the traditional technical knowledge of the choreographic language, academic (sockets, rigidly defined positions, balance, geometric movements etc.), But trying to use the greater freedom of writing and introducing new steps and new figures. Among other things, the uses of so-called neo-classical ballet pointe shoes, or shoes with reinforced toe specific details of ballet, completely abolished in the new twentieth-century dance forms.

Contemporary dance

Contemporary dance continues the revolution that took place from modern dance to new bodily expressions, which sometimes include the recitation of texts. From ballet to Urban Dances (breakdance and hip-hop), contemporary dance, the dance theater, the performing media, put the principle of overcoming the kinds of art forms and performing conventional. Contemporary dance is fully within the new contemporary scenic arts. Contemporary dance was born in Europe and the United States after the Second World War. Continue the revolution that took place from modern dance to new bodily expressions, which sometimes include acting. Contemporary dance experience and is always looking for a body of "other" by the newspaper, "other" idealization of the body produced by the academic tradition of classical ballet. The body of the dancer is a contemporary ipercorpo, as a hypertext in computer, a web page with many input and emotional expression for the dancer and the viewer in the audience.It is a body which is part of the contemporary reality of the modern man of the new millennium. In his gestures, in his movements, in the lines of the body, arms, hands, legs and body spaces that draw shapes in the air and on land, there is the whole man, his human emotions, the constant search of 'love, the joy of life, eros the desire of the bodies are intertwined, but there is also the fear, the uncertainty of our daily lives

Dance Sport

The intention of transforming the art of dance in sport is something recent and very questionable from the aesthetic point of view. In addition to issues related to art and entertainment since the beginning of 1900 has formed the dance competition, sport became official in 1995 with recognition from the IOC and (in Italy in 1997 with the birth of the Italian Federation of Dance sport and its entry into the CONI). The dance became a sport suffers the loss of quality in terms of creative freedom and expression. The dance as a sport has a long history in the field of "Couple of dances, which include major dances of the different parts of the world. Recently, the ideal of dance as an Olympic sport involved and impressed even the "dance arts." The Dance Sport is the transposition of the dance, usually couples, by artistic discipline in the sport, with its own rules, competitions and athletic competitions, the level of which varies in professional dall'amatoriale divided into different classes.

Dance Theatre

This is a relatively new form of theatrical dance that developed in Germany since the 70s (Tanz Theater) to spread later in many other European countries. The representations of character and narrative dance theater have often use even use the word recited. Sometimes prefer the gesture and dance movement to put the body of the dancer-actor at the center of the theatrical event. The most famous exponent of this kind is the dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch.

Urban Dance

The term "urban dance" refers to events, performances and choreographic creations in public spaces and investigates the relationship between dance, dancing body and architecture. The term "urban dance" does not arise as a definition of gender, but as the opening itself, space for experimentation of the body in the urban context. It may include within it, in a kind of open set, all those experiences that combine dance, movement, urban landscape and public space. As the town mirror the continuous movement, this set can only be opened and processed, as a body, as the body itself. Human Being here has to do directly with the discovery of the concrete and tactile world and space, whose architectural connotation shall buy new and direct awareness. The dancing body is related and interferes with the urban space itself, can reclaim the space, to discover other uses. According to these premises in this context can therefore be considered close research experiences of the '70s such as Trisha Brown and Joan Jonas, as well as the practices of urban dance like breakdance, dance with the skateboard, or the missed the city jumping .


Real name B-boying or Breaking, this non-academic dance born in the streets of the Bronx (in the American suburbs of New York) around 1975 by young African Americans who had had problems with society, influenced by the musical innovations of DJ Kool Herc . Only form of dance that carries out its research in art and popular circles, thanks to them suggests a way aesthetic that comes into full contact with the viewer. Breakdancing (real name b-boying or breaking) is a discipline of dance of hip hop culture developed by African-American community and Latino youth in the Bronx since 1968. DJ Kool Herc coined the term b-boy to identify young people who danced down "on the ground" during its musical breaks in the street parties of 1972. Since the 80's b-boying has spread all over the world, developing his technique with more and more spectacular moves, and by joining his practice to a true lifestyle of hip hop mold.

Folk dances and traditional

The folk dances are the expression of diverse local communities, once agricultural or mountainous areas. In countries where they survived the modernization, along with the musical repertoire to their need, are very lively dance and recently came back to spread beyond local boundaries and traditional.

Jazz Dance


Jazz dance is a combination of various dance styles and techniques are not easy to label. Historically this term refers to a traditional dance of African-American community but also took its cue from other civilization has inherited the European movement that has contributed to the elegance and refined in the movement, and African rhythm that gave the impetus and charm primitive. The term "jazz dance" is used to describe a type of movement still developing as it is linked to changes in culture: from social dances of the twenties to the development of dance theater, up to now with the hip hop and Funky jazz.


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      3 years ago

      Kick the tires and light the fires, problem ofcfliaily solved!

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      3 years ago

      That's not right mnxiig as no beats or riffs are maethcd. Match the beats then use the thwart fader. Best way to use OTS is by using two sound cards in your PC (or use on board sound for the cue channel and soundcard for live sound.) Pay for the silver license and then you can learn how to mix properly. I learnt on OTS. Took me 1 month to get the hang of beat-matching etc and I have in view of the fact that had a go on decks and found it simpler than I thought to get into it. Use Audacity to record your set.


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