public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:57 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 50 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 7:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 32
Location: SaintJohn, Canada
<img src="http://www.danceeurope.net/docs/ASSETS/SMLOGO1.GIF" alt="" />

<img src="http://www.criticaldance.com/images/logo/logo-s2.jpg" alt="" />

This topic has been selected as the "Dance Europe" discussion topic for April 2004 and we hope that CriticalDance posters and readers of "Dance Europe" will exchange views here.

<big>How To Post on CriticalDance</big>

If you are a newcomer to CriticalDance, we will be delighted if you want to post a comment about "Politics and Dance".

You will need to register, which is easy and free. Click here and follow the steps to register, including agreeing to our Rules, Policies and Disclaimers.

When you have registered, you will be able to log in. Then, to make a posting:

- click on the "Post Reply" button at the top right of this page
- type or copy and paste your comments into the posting box
- when you are ready, then press the "Add Reply" button
- if you want to edit your posting, you can do so by clicking on the "paper and pencil" icon at the right above your post.

For additional practical information about CriticalDance click here.

Don't worry if you've never written on the Internet before. Just tell us your views on the theme or on comments already posted. A selection of the comments will be published in "Dance Europe".

Please bear in mind that CriticalDance is a moderated site with a courtesy rule that applies to dance artists as well as other posters. Here is the link to the details of this policy:

http://www.criticaldance.com/courtesy/

Any problems or queries, don't hesitate to contact stuart@criticaldance.com

Don't delay - have your say.

<hr>

*************************

georgie's original message:

I am wondering what constitutes "great" dance. Can ballet and modern dance be seen as the two highest dance forms?

Great dance like any great art form should transcend the narrow scope of time and place. Thus far the two dance forms that have managed to do that are classical ballet and modern dance. Different cultures around the world have felt a connectedness to this way of moving and have embraced them.
Ballet was influenced and evolved within the highest European traditions. Modern dance, evolved as a rection to it. A very democratic beginning (may I add) for modern dance. This form of dance is revolutionary from its inception and continues to incorporate and integrate movement from many parts of the world. No other dance form has the ability to be so all inclusive and speak to so many different people.

<small>[ 24 March 2004, 07:08 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:57 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Thanks Georgie for this interesting and provocative topic. I'm in a mood at present when I wonder whether Kathak is the most interesting dance form around. With it's three modes of narrative, pure steps and more general movement and the beauty of the port de bras, footwork, rapid spins and so on it is a breath-taking dance style. Further, through artists like Akram Khan, the form is absorbing influences from elsewhere and making a new dance style that spellbinds people around the Globe.

Then of course there's Bahrata Natyam, Flamenco and the extraordinary virtuoso dance from the new African dance artists. Salia ni Seydou from Burkino Faso and Vincent Mantsoe are among the leading male dance artists anywhere in the world.

So I would be reluctant to place ballet or Western contemporary/modern dance ahead of these other dance forms.

<small>[ 25 February 2004, 12:59 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 12:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
I believe that what is "great" is culturally defined, and must be seen within a historical context. Some of the "greatest" dances I've seen: classical Balinese dance performed in Ubud, Bali; the traditional rain dance on Second Mesa in the Hopi nation,(goes on all day, I only watched one "cycle" of it for about one hour) in northeast Arizona (USA), and flamenco dance-I wish I could remember the name of the troupe. It was in New York City about 30 years ago! Ballet and modern dance are undoubtedly great, but only two forms within a rich tapestry of dance forms worldwide. :D


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 1:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Many ethnic dance companies in the US are older than ballet and modern dance companies.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 9:00 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 32
Location: SaintJohn, Canada
I am not denying that there are other (many) dance forms much older than ballet and modern. What I am questioning is, do they have the versatility in their technique, method, virtuosity, intellectual composition, etc. to reach and touch as many people as modern and ballet. Movement I think all over the world is beautiful. But does it have the same artistic merit? Break dancing technique is very difficult to learn and execute well.
Trina you take a cultural relativist approach when you say that each 'culture will define what is great', I agree. Most people are proud and very attached to their particular culture. They consider their dance, music and art to be the best. What I am saying, is there a qualitative difference? Can you lump together all dance and suggest that it is all great. To mind come, Pina Bausch, Nijinski, Graham... to name a few. Their work transcends culture.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 9:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 81
Location: San Ramon High School
Perhaps "great" is that which negates the need for a discussion of "greatness", its essence transcending cultural, chronological, geographical, etc. boundaries, qualifications and definitions? As for example, "great" storms or "great" sunsets?
If this is true, may we even apply the concept of "great" to dance or any other art form?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 32
Location: SaintJohn, Canada
Shallot in this case, "great" refers to high art ,it is not in reference to a storm.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
Georgie, why do you say that Bausch, Nijinski and Graham transcend culture?


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 81
Location: San Ramon High School
I am aware of the distinctions between “high” and “low” in the arts. I did not realize that you were using “high” synonymously with “great”...my comment regarding storms stands as is.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 32
Location: SaintJohn, Canada
djb
Why I say certain choreographers transcend their culture in dance?
I am just questioning whether all social and ethnic dance forms: Balinese, Greek, Belly dance, Tango, Break dance, etc. should be put into one category. I think there are gradations and levels ranging from exceptional to moderate dance. At the same time, I don't mean to discount the artistic validity and beauty of all dance. For example, in university, professors deem it necessary to have their students view and study all and any dance equally.
As I said before, high art should transcend the limiting scope of time and place. The two dance forms that have managed to do that are classical ballet and modern dance. These two dance forms are versatile in their technque to be able to do that. They have been inspird by architecture, painting, sculpture, other dance forms and cultures, Gods, movies, theater, etc. They are all encompassing in content and approach. They are influenced not in a narrow cultral sense but by all-human experience. That is what constitutes, for me, "great art", the ability to be all inclusive to incorporate the human experience. I mention Nijinsky, Graham, Bausch... because they are revolutionary, and take a leap beyond their time. Although, very different in style, they stand out and heir work goes beyond a narrow cultural scope. People can relate to, love and appreciate their work the world over.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Georgie, let's assume you are right that ballet and modern dance are the supreme realisations of the dance art form. Is it not a little surprising, when dance is such a universal art form, that the top two are both products of Western culture? Or perhaps Western culture is supreme in all art forms? It just doesn't hang together for me.

In my experience Indian dance forms, which perhaps mirror modern/contemporary dance with a range of techniques and a willingness to absorb influences, transcend cultural differences and appeal to a wide range of dance lovers.

<small>[ 28 February 2004, 04:40 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 81
Location: San Ramon High School
Stuart, I love your comment...do you consider all of these to have the "catharais of emotions through empathy" that Aristotle considers a pre-requisite for that wbich is "high" in art? Certainly I have undergone this heightening and cleansing of emotion while experiencing "Swan Lake" and Jose Limon's "The Moor's Pavane", to name a few. I am not familiar with the Indian Temple dances except for an appreciation of their delicate hand and foot movements. I wonder what you think.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 10:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
I guess it depends on what you mean by "great". If you mean technical virtuosity, then cerainly ballet and modern are "up there" under that critereia. If you mean resonance and relevance within a socio-cultural context, with the underpinning of often mythological/religious narrative, certainly then Indian, Balinese and indeigenous forms (Flamenco?) come to mind. I guess it all depends on we define "great". Also, at this juncture, we have cross-cultural appropriations, as Sturat points out in the case of Akram Khan. A blending of forms to create new "hybrids" so to speak.

<small>[ 27 February 2004, 11:07 AM: Message edited by: trina ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 81
Location: San Ramon High School
"Technical virtuosity", although worthy of respect and response, is also part and parcel of the Lippazanner performances as well as much circus performing art...Is this refined technique a necessary component of the "high" art in the manner of ballet and opera? I do not know... I am wondering. I mean is the technical virtuoisity of the prima ballerina necessary to relay the timeless, spellbinding messages of the world's greatest ballets? Could the nearly impeccable abstraction of Twyla Tharp's work be accessible through mediocre dancers? Or for that matter, due to technical excellence, is Cirque de Soleil "high" art? :confused:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What is "great" dance?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 25
Location: New York City
I guess history is always written by the victors. It's hard for me to say that ballet and modern transcend cultural differences because I am from the Western culture that spawned them. So of course they seem universal to me. But the concert forms of these styles as we know them have not even been in existence that long. I think a rigorous, sophisticated, subtle and complex form like Kathak, more easily passes the test of greatness because it has endured for a far longer time...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 50 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group