Dance: The Beautiful Art

It is natural to want to dance and move whenever we hear music. With the drum beat of a military march, we want to march in time; the smooth circles of a waltz have the power to make us feel like twirling forever; and a lullaby makes us lilt our bodies into sleep. Dance is a natural expression and is a natural response to music that is heard externally or sometimes but rarely, it is in resonance with the sounds of inner joy, to which only the individual is privy.

Most people wish to dance, or enjoy dancing. It is a feature in the life of most people throughout the world who reveal the differences in their culture through the different types of music and the different styles of dance movement they develop in their traditional art. There is a different between the dance of a country barn dance or western line-up with a country band and the rap dancing with its accompanying intonation and sounds; between the tap dancers metallic beat to a popular tune and the ballet dancers soft pointed feet describing the patterns of a classical piece; the passionate guitar and strong heel beats of a Spanish flamenco and the smooth swirls of an Austrian circular waltz to the strains of a violin.

Music provides the powerful influence which we seek to express in movement and dance. In addition, if our own emotions are moved, we can convey how we feel by injecting our emotions into our physical movements. If music uplifts us, we may dance but wish we could fly and the best we can do is to raise our arms and elevate our bodies from the floor as best we can. If the music on the other hand is sombre, we would rather dress in garments of grey and drop our heads to respond in heavy deliberate movements to show what the music intends.

For the professional dancer, it is music which dictates the mood and demands that a dancer surrenders his body to that music, not just for his own pleasure, but for the sake of a wider purpose. Then the dancer surrenders to music as if it were the conductor, as he seeks to make his body its complete or final instrument .The dancer can only surrender to the music if he wishes his body to serve to express its influence. To dance to a rhythm without conscious thought is a pure reaction – it is not an art.

Dancers are agents of the music – there to express something of the spirit of his inspiration of the composer. If we like the music we are asked to dance to, there is an easy relationship and harmony between the music, the source of it and our bodies. It is all in tune and the dancer can add the ingredient of his own intelligence and pour his feeling through his body language. If we are not attracted to the music then the dancer is a mere puppet. In the future, to use a dancer without him having conscious desire to express the music will be seen as dancer abuse! It is not a true and fine example of the art form at all unless music and dancer are as one.

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