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A Global View on Dance Appreciation Joan Frosch Based upon "A Global View: Dance Appreciation for the 21st Century," by Joan Frosch (JOPERD, March 1991)

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Presentation on theme: "A Global View on Dance Appreciation Joan Frosch Based upon "A Global View: Dance Appreciation for the 21st Century," by Joan Frosch (JOPERD, March 1991)"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Global View on Dance Appreciation Joan Frosch Based upon "A Global View: Dance Appreciation for the 21st Century," by Joan Frosch (JOPERD, March 1991)

2 Introduction n I have developed ten guidelines to help you to appreciate dance from a global perspective. The guidelines are intended to help you to: n create alternative ways of seeing and understanding dance n examine biases as you view dance n develop tools for “reading dance”

3 FOUNDATION QUESTIONS n Consider the significance of the question words: what, why, who, when, and how of dance WITHIN THE CULTURAL CONTEXT. These questions form the foundation for the ten guidelines to appreciating dance.

4 QUESTION FROM POINT OF VIEW OF DANCER n What is the dance being performed? n Why is being performed (intention)? n Who is dancing? Who is accompanying? Who is watching? n When is it being performed? n How is the dance performed? How does the dance relate to its audience (if any)?

5 GUIDELINE #1 n Define dance in the cultural context. This frames discussion and encourages discourse on the experience of dance as part of the greater picture of human life. n For example, the Native Americans of the Hopi Nation call dance “work,” that is sacred work, intended to bring rain, good harvest, healing, etc.

6 GUIDELINE #2 n Examine performance traditions as expressions of values and dance as a way of knowing n Some weddings may feature the couple’s favored or “wedding song” to which they dance-embraced- both symbolizing and expressing the intrinsic value of heterosexual love in Judeo-Christian societies.

7 GUIDELINE #3 n Rethink aesthetics within a cross- cultural perspective, examining the interplay of ethics and aesthetics. n What is perceived as “beautiful”and by whom? How does that intersect with what is perceived as “right” or “good”? A “good” girl dances with downcast eyes in a Djipo (West African) initiation ceremony, which is, in turn, part of the aesthetic of the dance.

8 GUIDELINE #4 n Examine dance as it occurs in society and its interface with other arts. n Dance can be interdependent with other arts. Within a particular event, dance may be wedded to drama, poetry, music (song, instrumental music, body percussion, etc.), costume/scenic/ makeup design, or other artistic elements. Polynesian dance, is often an adjunct of poetry-- embodying the literary meaning.

9 GUIDELINE #5 n Explore the relationship of dance to other ways of organizing life experience n Life passages can use dance as a marker of an event, emphasizing the importance of the event to society. Religious ritual, courtship (your senior prom), healing, protest, spiritual transformation, may use dance to “formalize” the event and help to separate it from daily life.

10 GUIDELINE #6 n Examine dance as a repository of cultural information within the dynamic tension of continuity and change n Royal dances of Cambodia were targets for the Khmer Rouge (1975) because they were seen as vestiges of Cambodia’s “feudal past.” Yet in 1979, the new communist government restored dance-both to gain legitimacy in the eyes of Cambodians & to rally national consciousness.

11 GUIDELINE #7 n Construct a historical overview of the world of dance including acknowledgment of the cross- influences that have created major dance cultures n Jazz is a form created through the intersection of West African rhythms and Euro-American melody. The dance form reflects the same cross-heritage. In so doing, Jazz has become the signature American music and dance form.

12 GUIDELINE #8 n Examine the role(s) of the dancer in society (chief/political leader, worshipper, prima ballerina, choreographer, priest, etc.) n The dancer may have a central or an auxiliary role in passing on culture within a society. In Asante, the chief must become a dancer who can convince his contituency, through his dance skills, that he knows understands and can lead Asante people.

13 GUIDELINE #9 n Examine gender as a cultural construction of reality and its manifestation in dance n Constructs of maleness and femaleness are carefully built. Dance, so clearly ”of the body” is often used to portray these constructs. In western ballroom, men lead; in Japanese traditional Kabuki, men not only create but perform the female roles; in ballet, women balance precariously on pointe while men support their turns and lifts.

14 GUIDELINE #10 n Generate excitement about dance as an art, an activity, a career, a rich cultural heritage. n Finally, the kinesthetic and spiritual experience of moving can be a richly rewarding one-incorporating our physicality, our senses, our focussed attention, the totality of our being. Further, it can reintroduce to our own heritage- and help us to celebrate and honor the heritages of others. Agoro nya odo mma: dance makes us children of one family.

15 DEFINITION TO REMEMBER: CULTURE (1) n DEFINITION TO REMEMBER n Remember culture is the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought characteristic of a community or population

16 DEFINITION TO REMEMBER: CONTEXT (2) n DEFINITION TO REMEMBER n Remember context is the set of circumstances in which a particular event occurs. n Attune to the differences of the meaning of a dance according to the context in which it is performed

17 DEFINITION TO REMEMBER: TRADITION (3) DEFINITION TO REMEMBER n Remember tradition is a mode of thought or behavior followed by a people (continuously) from generation to generation. n Attune to how traditions can be “reinvented” according to contemporary needs--especially when there has been a gap in the practice of the tradition.

18 DEFINITION TO REMEMBER: VALUE (4) DEFINITION TO REMEMBER n Remember value is a principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable.

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