Friedrich Nietzsche stated, “He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.” Friedrich Nietzsche understood how fundamental dance is to human existence. That we stand, and we walk, and we run, and we climb. And we dance.
“Dance is expression through movement” says Honolulu Prisma Dance School director. Whether calibrated or freeform, dance provides a medium of artistry showcasing the body as a creative vehicle. Virtually every culture has a tradition of dance. The modern and contemporary forms of dance we see today have roots that can be traced back to centuries ago. Dance can be distinguished by its choreography, its repertoire of movements, or its historical period or place of origin.
Performance is a spectacle of dance, wherein audience members view the dancers as they perform different routines and exercises. Performance is a great time for dancers to exhibit their pieces, ones they have been working on. It is also a great time to expose audience members to this craft. Performances often tell a story, perhaps using different techniques, movements, props, costume, or scenery. Furthermore, it may display an interpretation of a unique musical accompaniment, or it may often be performed to specially composed music.
Interpretive dance aims at the translation of human emotions, conditions, situations or fantasies into movement and dramatic expression, or else adapts traditional ethnic movements into more modern expressions. Ballet is more precise, pulling from tradition and keeping a high standard of technique. Both ends of the spectrum showcase the different and varying degrees and abilities of their performers. Throughout the range of dances, there are many overlapping themes.
Dance is usually, although not always necessarily, performed with the accompaniment of music. Dance is generally, although again not always necessarily, performed in time to decided music. Some dance may even provide its own audio accompaniment music. Tap, for example, provides for its own music. Dance and music have always been created to comingle with each other, one influencing the other – dance being created because of music and music being created for dance. Although not married in every situation, both have a strong influence on each other. Dance pulls on the audible strings of music and translates it into a physical form.
In “What is Dance? Readings in Theory and Criticism,” author Joann Kealinohomoku describes, “Dance is a transient mode of expression performed in a given form and style by the human body moving in space. Dance occurs through purposefully selected and controlled rhythmic movements; the resulting phenomenon is recognized as dance both by the performer and the observing members of a given group.”
Dance is movement, expression, and artistry.