Dance is the rhythmic movement of the human body in space and time to make statements.
Uses of Dance
Dance is useful in the following ways:
- It is a means of communication.
- It is a medium of expression of oneself and idea.
- Many have made careers out of dance.
- It is an excellent confidence booster, especially for shy people.
- Ballet uses music and dance to tell stories.
- Dance therapy helps to improve the mental and physical well-being of a person.
Meaning of Choreography
Choreography is the art of composing or creating dances. It shows the movements and patterns of dance composition. It is the planning of movement for dancing. The steps and movement planned for a dance which may be written or improvised.
Principles of Choreography
All choreography regardless of genre is based on the following principles:
(i) Dynamics: This deals with how it moves, time (fast/slow), weight (strong/gentle), space (direct/indirect), flow (bound/free), tempo (rhythm).
(ii) Space: Where in space e.g. 3 level, person, upstage, stage right centre-stage, pathways, general stage left.
(iii) Relationship: What are the relationships? Near or far from other dancers, near or far from audience, solo, duet, trio, group, narrative, with/without/on/in beside a set, with/without music, costume, lighting, props, repeated.
(iv) Actions: Which actions are used e.g. jump, balance, fall, turnstillness, contact, lift, etc.
(v) Body parts: Head, eyes, hand, twisted, legs, arms, chest, face, etc.
Meaning of Choreographer
A choreographer is a theatre artist who creates, arranges dances, teaches dancers to perform a dance to the delight of an audience.
A choreographer is a performer of choreography. He or she is knowledgeable in different kinds of dance and their techniques. A choreographer plans out dance movement.
Meaning of Contemporary Dance
Dance is a type of art that generally involves movement of the body, often rhythmic and to music.
Contemporary dance is a form of dance that is a clear departure from the traditional and ballet dance forms but draws inspiration from them.
Contemporary dance is a style of expressive dance that combines elements of several dance genres including modern and jazz, lyrical ballet. Contemporary dancers strive to connect the mind and the body through fluid dance movements.
Features of Contemporary Dance
- It enables freedom of movement, allowing dancers bodies to freely express their innermost feelings.
- Expressive and original
- Element of ballet and other styles
- Individual style.
- Gravity, floor-work and rolls.
- Gestures all part of the body
- Unusual shapes and line
- Relationships – men dancing with men and women dancing with women
- Groupings – solo, duet, trio, small groups and large groups
- Staging- different areas of the stage become strong and more than one sequence performed at a time.
- Can tell a story, have theme or characters or no meaning at all.
Performing Some Contemporary Dance (Practical session)
- The educator plays video of DECENT contemporary dance; Nigerian and western
- The educator guides the student(s) to Perform some movements to build and encourage individual creativity.
- Define dance.
- (i) What is choreography? (ii) Who is a choreographer?
- (i) State the meaning of contemporary dance. (ii) List five features of contemporary dance.
- Exhibit a solo or group dance (This should be documented and score awarded).
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