The History of Dance

Dance is considered a performance art form that consists of selected arrangements of human movement. The movement will have aesthetic as well as symbolic value and will be acknowledged as dance through observers or performers within a certain culture. Dance could also be categorized and could be described through its choreography and by its repertoire of those movements or through place of origin or historical period. But what is the history of dance?

It is believed that the history of dance could be difficult to access since dance doesn’t provided clear identity of the physical artifacts which last over time. And it is not also clear if when the dance becomes part of the culture in humanity. Based on studies, there is still a history of dance.

For early dance, it was considered as important part of rituals, ceremony, entertainment and celebration even before the earliest civilizations. There are archaeologists that have delivered traces of dance coming from prehistoric times. And it is also believed that dance is considered a method used for healing and also for expression.

Dance is being used as a method for healing rituals by numbers of cultures coming from rainforest in Brazil and to the Kalahi Desert. It is believed that danses macabres of Medieval European were able to protect the participants from diseases but there were also instances wherein the hysteria or the duration of the dances led to death because of exhaustion. In addition, Sri Lankan dance went back into the mythological times of the aboriginal Yingyangs as well as the Yakkas or the devils. Based on the legend of Sinhalese, Kandyan dances have originated 2500 years ago. And it came from magic ritual which broke the spell of the bewitched king. And there are numbers of contemporary dances that could be traced back into the traditional, historical, ethnic and ceremonial dances.

In terms of being used as a method for expression, dance is being used in performances and also for telling myths. Dance was also used in order to show feelings towards someone with opposite gender. Dance was also linked with the origin of love making. It is as well one among the methods used in order to pass stories down from a generation to another prior to the production of written languages. In Europe, one among the earliest records of dance would be through Homer wherein Iliad described Chorea. Early Greeks as well made the art of dancing as a system through expressing all the various passions. Greek philosopher named Aristotle as well ranked dance with poetry and so said that those dancers having rhythm being applied with gesture might express passions, manners and actions. And in addition, most of the Greek sculptors as well studied the dancers’ attitude for the art of imitating passion.

Through the passing of years, there are numbers of changes within dance or dancing. And these changes could be observed through the different ways dancers dance. And still, dance is considered a part of human culture.

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