Is This Dance? What Is Dance?

312 words | 2 page(s)

The dance is one of the most human exhibitions of emotion and thoughts, transmitted through body language. According to Hanna, dance is “a nearly universal behavior with a history probably as old as humanity itself”.

If one is to look at Stomp 4 video clip, one can see two different dances in there, even though there is nothing that may be considered related to dancing in the stereotypical way. If we are to use Hanna’s definition of dance than both groups of people depicted in the clip fall under the definition: they do exhibit a behavior, so it is possible to state that they are engaged in dancing. The first clip of card players shows them dancing: performing rhythmic movements with their either left or right hand in a particular tempo. Their dance is not without symbolism, as their body movements signify their desire to risk and to participate in the game without holding back. They move in a rhythm, they move together and the message of their body language is clear, which makes it possible to designate their movement as dancing.

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The second clip featuring freestylers with a basket ball is even closer to the nature of dancing. In their case the rhythm of the movements is necessary to keep the ball jumping. The hand movements guiding the ball are accompanied by interesting leg movements, which venture into the hip hop territory. It is during the moment when a whole group becomes engaged in the act that it becomes evident that usual freestyle movements should also be considered a type of dance as they demand a particular choreography and physical competence, as well as the feel of rhythm.

  • Hanna, J. The performer-audience connection: Emotion to Metaphor in dance and society. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1983. Print.
  • Stomp 4. Glyn Nunn, 2006. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NG-vtWJ3Us

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