Dance and Music History

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 CHOREOGRAPHY (ETYMOLOGY) khoreia: “dance” graphein: “to write”

 STYLE in Dance derives from 3 related sets of conventions 1. The quality with which the movement is performed (texture or quality found in movement as it is performed) Rudolph von Laban’s systematization of “quality in movement”: Space: indirect, direct Time: sustained, quick Weight: strong, light Flow: free, bound Acc. to Laban, all human movement exhibits constellations of these factors that form identifiable textures or qualities of movement.
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2. The characteristic use of the parts of the body with their symbolic associations. Solar plexus (Duncan), lower abdomen and pelvis as an isolable area (Graham), fixed/vertical torso (ballet). Pelvis: sexual, primitive instincts and desires Chest: emotions and feelings Head: intellect, rationality, process of thinking 3. Characteristic use of “performance space”. (a three dimensional spatial grid symbolically defines the space) i.e. movements that occur in the air (jumps & lifts) or gestures towards upper space – mostly associated with the pure, heavenly, etc. movements on the flor –associations with more earthly existence.
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THEATRE DANCE From Aristocratic Entertainments (1300-1600) to Court Spectacles (1530s-1640s) to French Court Ballet – “The Sun King” Dancing (1650-1700s)  French nobility “dancing” in the entertainments and spectacles to show off their power and dignity. Spectacles organized by courts, dukedoms, etc. quickly became competitive, one court trying to display greater power and wealth than another. Idealisation of aristocratic power became the new impetus for dance.  Court entertainments were prepared with great care. They were 4-5 hours elaborate programs consisting of unconnected episodes of allegory, acting, dancing, singing, poetry, music. They were prepared to celebrate a marriage, a birth, a victory, welcoming of a…...

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