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Bharatanatyam (Tamil : "பரதநாட்டியம்"), is a major genre of Indian classical dance that originated in Tamil Nadu.[1][2][3] Traditionally, Bharatanatyam has been a solo dance that was performed exclusively by women, [4][5] and it expressed South Indian religious themes and spiritual ideas, particularly of Shaivism, but also of Vaishnavism and Shaktism.[1][6][7] Bharatanatyam's theoretical foundations trace to the ancient Sanskrit text by Bharata Muni, Natya Shastra, [6] its existence by 2nd century CE is noted in the ancient Tamil epic Silappatikaram, while temple sculptures of 6th to 9th century CE suggest it was a well refined performance art by mid 1st millennium CE.[5][8] Scholars suggest that Gandharva Nathya, a traditional style of dance originating from mysuru reigion may be the foundation stones for creation of Bharatanatyam. Bharatanatyam style is noted for its fixed upper torso, legs bent or knees flexed out combined with spectacular footwork, a sophisticated vocabulary of sign language based on gestures of hands, eyes and face muscles.[8] The dance is accompanied by music and a singer, and typically her guru is present as the director and conductor of the performance and art.[1] The dance has traditionally been a form of an interpretive narration of mythical legends and spiritual ideas from the Hindu texts.[4] The performance repertoire of Bharatanatyam, like other classical dances, includes nrita (pure dance), nritya (solo expressive dance) and natya (group dramatic dance).[4][9] Bharatanatyam remained exclusive to Hindu temples through the 19th century, [8] was banned by the colonial British government in 1910, [10] the Indian community protested against the ban and expanded it outside the temples in the 20th century.[8][10][11] Modern stage productions of Bharatanatyam have incorporated technical performances, pure dance based on non-religious ideas and fusion themes. The term Bharatanatyam is a compound of two words, Bharata and Natyam.[8] The term Bharata in Bharatanatyam, in the Hindu tradition, is believed to have named after the famous performance art sage to whom the ancient Natya Shastra is attributed. There is a false belief that the word Bharata is a mnemonic, consisting of "bha"–"ra"–"ta".[8] According to this belief, bha stands for bhava (feelings, emotions), ra stands for raga (melody, framework for musical notes), and ta stands for tala (rhythm).[8][12][13] The term Natya is a Sanskrit word for "dance". The compound word Bharatanatyam thus connotes a dance which harmoniously expresses "bhava, raga and tala".[12] In its history, Bharatanatyam has also been called Sadir. The theoretical foundations of Bharatanatyam are found in Natya Shastra, the ancient Hindu text of performance arts.[5][16][17] Natya Shastra is attributed to the ancient scholar Bharata Muni, and its first complete compilation is dated to between 200 BCE and 200 CE, [18][19] but estimates vary between 500 BCE and 500 CE.[20] The most studied version of the Natya Shastra text consists of about 6000 verses structured into 36 chapters.[18][21] The text, states Natalia Lidova, describes the theory of Tāṇḍava dance (Shiva), the theory of rasa, of bhāva, expression, gestures, acting techniques, basic steps, standing postures – all of which are part of Indian classical dances.[18][22] Dance and performance arts, states this ancient text, [23] are a form of expression of spiritual ideas, virtues and the essence of scriptures.[24] More direct historical references to Bharatnatyam is found in the Tamil epics Silappatikaram (~2nd century CE[25]) and Manimegalai (~6th century).[5][8] The ancient text Silappatikaram, includes a story of a dancing girl named Madhavi; it describes the dance training regimen called Arangatrau Kathai of Madhavi in verses 113 through 159.[25] The carvings in Kanchipuram's Shiva temple that have been dated to 6th to 9th century CE suggest Bharatanatyam was a well developed performance art by about the mid 1st millennium CE.[5][8][26] Left: 7th century Shiva in Karnataka; Right: Bharatanatyam pose A famous example of illustrative sculpture is in the southern gateway of the Chidambaram temple (~12th century) dedicated to Hindu god Shiva, where 108 poses of the Bharatnatyam, that are also described as karanas in the Natya Shastra, are carved in stone.[27][28] Many of the ancient Shiva sculptures in Hindu temples are same as the Bharata Natyam dance poses. For example, the Cave 1 of Badami cave temples, dated to 7th-century, [29] portrays the Tandava-dancing Shiva as Nataraja.[30][31][32] The image, 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, has 18 arms in a form that expresses the dance positions arranged in a geometric pattern.[32] The arms of Shiva express mudras (symbolic hand gestures), [33] that are found in Bharatanatyam.[5][34] Bharatanatyam, state Allen Noble and Ashok Dutt, has been "a major source of inspiration to the musicians, poets, painters, singers and sculptors" in Indian history.[35] Devadasis, anti-dance movement, colonial ban and the decline Some colonial Indologists and modern authors have stated Bharatanatyam is a descendant of an ancient Devadasi (literally, servant girls of Deva temples) culture, suggesting historical origins to 300 BCE to 300 CE.[36] Modern scholarship has questioned this theory for lack of any direct textual or archeological evidence.[37][38] Historic sculpture and texts do describe and project dancing girls, as well as temple quarters dedicated to women, but they do not state them to be courtesans and prostitutes alleged by early colonial Indologists.[36] According to Davesh Soneji, a critical examination of evidence suggest that the courtesan dancing is a modern era phenomena, which began in late 16th or 17th century of the Nayaka period of Tamil Nadu.[36] According to James Lochtefeld, Bharatanatyam remained exclusive to Hindu temples through the 19th century, and it appeared on stage outside the temples only in the 20th century.[8] Further, the Maratha rulers of Tanjore patronized and contributed towards Bharatanatyam.[39] Rukmini Devi Arundale helped revive Bharatanatyam, after all Hindu temple dancing was banned by the British colonial government in 1910. With the arrival of colonial East India Company officials rule in the 18th century, and the establishment of British colonial rule in 19th, many classical Indian dance forms were ridiculed and discouraged, and these performance arts declined.[40] Christian missionaries and British officials presented "nautch girls" of north India (Kathak) and "devadasis" of south India (Bharatanatyam) as evidence of "harlots, debased erotic culture, slavery to idols and priests" tradition, and Christian missionaries demanded that this must be stopped, launching the "anti-dance movement" in 1892.[41][42][43] The anti-dance camp accused the dance form as a front for prostitution, while revivalists questioned the constructed histories by the colonial writers.[37][38] In 1910, the Madras Presidency of the British Empire altogether banned temple dancing, and with it the Bharatanatyam tradition within Hindu temples.[10] Post colonial era: revival and rebirth The 1910 ban triggered powerful protests against the stereotyping and dehumanization of temple dancers.[10] The Tamil people were concerned that a historic and rich dance tradition was being victimized under the excuse of social reform.[10][44] The classical art revivalists such as E. Krishna Iyer, a lawyer and someone who had learnt the Bharatanatyam dance, questioned the cultural discrimination and the assumed connection, asking why prostitution needs years of learning and training for performance arts such as the Bharatanatyam, and how can killing performance arts end any evils in a society?[45][46] Iyer was arrested and sentenced to prison on charges of nationalism, who while serving out his prison term persuaded his fellow political prisoners to support Bharatanatyam.[47] While the British colonial government enforced laws to suppress Bharatanatyam and all Hindu temple dances, some from the West such as the American dancer Esther Sherman moved to India in 1930, learnt Indian classical dances, changed her name to Ragini Devi, and joined the movement to save and revive Bharatanatyam and other ancient dance arts.[48] The Indian independence movement in early 20th century, already in progress, became a period of cultural ferment and initiated an effort by its people to reclaim their culture and rediscover history.[41][49][50] In this period of cultural and political turmoil, instead of Bharatnatyam becoming extinct, it expanded out of Hindu temples and was revived as a mainstream dance by Bharatnatyam artists such as Rukmini Devi Arundale and Balasaraswati.[51][52] They championed and performed the Pandanallur (Kalakshetra) and Thanjavur styles of Bharatanatyam, respectively.[51] In late 20th century, Tamil Hindu migrants reintroduced the Bharatanatyam traditions of temple dancing in British Tamil temples.[53] Repertoire The bent knee posture is quite common in a Bharatanatyam performance. Bharata Natyam is traditionally a team performance art that consists of a female solo dancer, accompanied by musicians and one or more singers. The theory behind the musical notes, vocal performance and the dance movement trace back to the ancient Natya Shastra, and many Sanskrit and Tamil texts such as the Abhinaya Darpana.[54][55] The solo artist (ekaharya) in Bharatanatyam is dressed in a colorful Sari, adorned with jewelry who presents a dance synchronized with Indian classical music.[54] Her hand and facial gestures are codified sign language that recite a legend, spiritual ideas or a religious prayer derived from Hindu Vedic scriptures, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Puranas and historic drama texts.[54][56] The dancer deploys turns or specific body movements to mark punctuations in the story or the entry of a different character in the play or legend being acted out through dance (Abhinaya). The footwork, body language, postures, musical notes, the tones of the vocalist, aesthetics and costumes integrate to express and communicate the underlying text.[54][57] In modern adaptations, Bharata Natyam dance troupes may involve many dancers which play specific characters of a story, creatively choreographed to ease the interpretation and expand the experience by the audience.[58] The repertoire of Bharatanatyam, like all major classical Indian dance forms, follows the three categories of performance in the Natya Shastra. These are Nritta (Nirutham), Nritya (Niruthiyam) and Natya (Natyam).[56] The purpose Bharata Natyam is an art which consecrates the body (...) the dancer, who dissolves her identity in rhythm and music, makes her body an instrument, at least for the duration of the dance, for the experience and expression of the spirit. The traditional order of Bharata Natyam recital viz. alarippu, jatiswaram, varnam, padams, tillana and the shloka is the correct sequence in the practice of this art, which is an artistic Yoga, for revealing the spiritual through the corporeal. —T Balasaraswati, a Bharatanatyam devadasi[59][60] The Nritta performance is abstract, fast and rhythmic aspect of the dance.[61] The viewer is presented with pure movement in Bharatanatyam, wherein the emphasis is the beauty in motion, form, speed, range and pattern.[56] This part of the repertoire has no interpretative aspect, no telling of story. It is a technical performance, and aims to engage the senses (prakriti) of the audience.[62] The Nritya is slower and expressive aspect of the dance that attempts to communicate feelings, storyline particularly with spiritual themes in Hindu dance traditions.[61] In a nritya, the dance-acting expands to include silent expression of words through gestures and body motion set to musical notes. The actor articulates a legend or a spiritual message. This part of a Bharatanatyam repertoire is more than sensory enjoyment, it aims to engage the emotions and mind of the viewer.[56][62] The Natyam is a play, typically a team performance, [9] but can be acted out by a solo performer where the dancer uses certain standardized body movements to indicate a new character in the underlying story. A Natya incorporates the elements of a Nritya.[56] Sequence The traditional Bharatanatyam performance follows a seven-part order of presentation. This set of items are called 'margam'[59][63] Alarippu The presentation begins with a rhythmic invocation (vandana) called the Alaripu.[13] It is a pure dance, which combines a thank you and benediction for blessings from the gods and goddesses, the guru and the gathered performance team. It also serves as a preliminary warm up dance, without melody, to enable to dancer to loosen her body, journey away from distractions and towards single-minded focus.[59] Jatiswaram The next stage of the performance adds melody to the movement of Alarippu, and this is called Jatiswaram.[13][59] The dance remains a prelim technical performance (nritta), pure in form and without any expressed words. The drums set the beat, of any Carnatic music raga (melody). She performs a sequence (Korvai) to the rhythm of the beat, presenting to the audience the unity of music, rhythm and movements.[59] Shabdam The performance sequence then adds Shabdam (expressed words).[64] The solo dancer, the vocalist(s) and the musical team, in this stage of the production, present short compositions, with words and meaning, in a spectrum of moods.[65] Varnam The Varnam part of Bharatanatyam emphasizes expressive dance. The performance thereafter evolves into the Varnam stage.[64] This marks the arrival into the sanctum sanctorum core of the performance.[59] It is the longest section and the nritya. A traditional Varnam may be as long as 30-45 minutes or sometimes an hour. Varnam offer huge scope for improvisation and an experienced dancer can stretch the Varnam to a desirable length. The artist presents the play or the main composition, reveling in all her movements, silently communicating the text through codified gestures and footwork, harmoniously with the music, rhythmically punctuated. The dancer performs complicated moves, such as expressing a verse at two speeds.[66] Her hands and body tell a story, whether of love and longing, or of a battle between the good and the evil, [67] as the musicians envelop her with musical notes and tones that set the appropriate mood. [65] Padam The Padam follows next in the sequence of the performance.[64][68] This is the stage of reverence, of simplicity, of abhinaya (expression) of the solemn spiritual message or devotional religious prayer (bhakti). The music is lighter, the chant intimate, the dance emotional.[66][69] The choreography attempts to express rasa (emotional taste) and a mood, while the recital may include items such as a keertanam (expressing devotion), a javali (expressing divine love) or something else.[66][68] Thillana The performance sequence ends with a Tillana, the climax.[64] It closes out the nritya portion, the movements exit the temple of expressive dance, returning to the nritta style, where a series of pure movement and music are rhythmically performed. Therewith the performance ends.[59][66][note 1] The overall sequence of Bharatanatyam, states Balasaraswati, thus moves from "mere meter; then melody and meter; continuing with music, meaning and meter; its expansion in the centerpiece of the varnam; thereafter, music and meaning without meter; (...) a non-metrical song at the end. We see a most wonderful completeness and symmetry in this art".[72] Costumes in Bharatanatyam Attire The attires of a Bharatanatyam dancer resembles a Tamil Hindu's bridal dress. It consists of a tailor fitted brilliantly colored Sari, with a special pleated cloth stitched that falls in front and opens like a hand fan when she flexes her knees or performs footwork. The Sari is worn in a special way, wrapping the back and body contour tightly, past one shoulder and its end then held by a jewelry belt at the waist.[73] She is typically adorned with jewelry, outlining her head or hair, on ear, nose and neck. Her face has conventional makeup, eyes lined and ringed by collyrium which help viewers see her eye expressions.[74] To her ankles, she wraps one or more leather anklets [ Ghungroos ]. Her hair is tied up in the traditional way, often braided in with fragrant flowers (veni or gajra).[75][76] The fingers and feet outlines may be partially colored red with kumkum powder, a costume tradition that helps the audience more easily view her hand gestures.[77] Vocal Aspects and Musical Instruments The accompanying music to Bharatanatyam is in the Carnatic style of South India, as is the recitation and chanting.[78] The vocalist is called the nattuvanar , typically also the conductor of the entire performance, who may be the guru of the dancer and may also be playing cymbals or one of the musical instruments.[70][79] The recited verses and text in Bharatanatyam are in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Sanskrit.[80] The instruments used include the mridangam (double-sided drum), nadaswaram (long type of oboe made from a black wood), nattuvangam (cymbals), the flute, violin and veena.[70][74] Symbolism Bharatanatyam, like all classical dances of India, is steeped in symbolism both in its abhinaya (acting) and its goals. The roots of abhinaya are found in the Natyashastra text which defines drama in verse 6.10 as that which aesthetically arouses joy in the spectator, through the medium of actor's art of communication, that helps connect and transport the individual into a super sensual inner state of being.[81] A performance art, asserts Natyashastra, connects the artists and the audience through abhinaya (literally, "carrying to the spectators"), that is applying body-speech-mind and scene, wherein the actors communicate to the audience, through song and music.[81] Drama in this ancient Sanskrit text, thus is an art to engage every aspect of life, in order to glorify and gift a state of joyful consciousness.[82] Example mudras – gestures as symbols in Bharatanatyam. The communication through symbols is in the form of expressive gestures and pantomime set to music. The gestures and facial expressions convey the ras (sentiment, emotional taste) and bhava (mood) of the underlying story.[83] In the Hindu texts on dance, the dancer successfully expresses the spiritual ideas by paying attention to four aspects of a performance: Angika (gestures and body language), Vachika (song, recitation, music and rhythm), Aharya (stage setting, costume, make up, jewelry), and Sattvika (artist's mental disposition and emotional connection with the story and audience, wherein the artist's inner and outer state resonates).[83] Abhinaya draws out the bhava (mood, psychological states).[83] The gestures used in Bharatanatyam are called Hasta (or mudras). These symbols are of three types: asamyuta hastas (single hand gestures), samyuta hastas (two hand gestures) and nrtta hastas (dance hand gestures).[84] Like words in a glossary, these gestures are presented in the nritta as a list or embellishment to a prelim performance. In nritya stage of Bharatanatyam, these symbols set in a certain sequence become sentences with meaning, with emotions expressed through facial expressions and other aspects of abhinaya.[84] Modern revival: schools and training centers An expression through gesture in Bharatanatyam. Bharatanatyam rapidly expanded after India gained freedom from the British rule in 1947. It is now the most popular classical Indian dance style in India, enjoys high degree of support in expatriate Indian communities, and is considered to be synonymous with Indian dance by many foreigners unaware of the diversity of dances and performance arts in Indian culture.[85] In the second half of the 20th century, Bharatanatyam has been to Indian dance tradition what ballet has been in the West.[85] When the British tried to attempt to banish Bharatanatyam traditions, it went on and revived by moving outside the Hindu temple and religious ideas. However, post-independence, with rising interest in its history, the ancient traditions, the invocation rituals and the spiritual expressive part of the dance has returned.[85] Many innovations and developments in modern Bharatanatyam, states Anne-Marie Geston, are of a quasi-religious type.[85] Major cities in India now have numerous schools that offer lessons in Bharatanatyam, and these cities host hundreds of shows every year.[86][87] Outside India, Bharatanatyam is a sought after and studied dance, states Meduri, in academic institutes in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore.[88] For expat Indian and Tamil communities in many countries, it is a source and means for social life and community bonding.[89] Contemporary Bharatanatyam choreographies include both male and female dancers.
Dance is a performing art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value, and is acknowledged as dance by performers and observers within a particular culture.[nb 1] Dance can be categorized and described by its choreography, by its repertoire of movements, or by its historical period or place of origin. An important distinction is to be drawn between the contexts of theatrical and participatory dance, [4] although these two categories are not always completely separate; both may have special functions, whether social, ceremonial, competitive, erotic, martial, or sacred/liturgical. Other forms of human movement are sometimes said to have a dance-like quality, including martial arts, gymnastics, cheerleading, figure skating, synchronized swimming, marching bands, and many other forms of athletics. Theatrical dance, also called performance or concert dance, is intended primarily as a spectacle, usually a performance upon a stage by virtuoso dancers. It often tells a story, perhaps using mime, costume and scenery, or else it may simply interpret the musical accompaniment, which is often specially composed. Examples are western ballet and modern dance, Classical Indian dance and Chinese and Japanese song and dance dramas. Most classical forms are centred upon dance alone, but performance dance may also appear in opera and other forms of musical theatre. Participatory dance, on the other hand, whether it be a folk dance, a social dance, a group dance such as a line, circle, chain or square dance, or a partner dance such as is common in western Western ballroom dancing, is undertaken primarily for a common purpose, such as social interaction or exercise, of participants rather than onlookers. Such dance seldom has any narrative. A group dance and a corps de ballet, a social partner dance and a pas de deux, differ profoundly. Even a solo dance may be undertaken solely for the satisfaction of the dancer. Participatory dancers often all employ the same movements and steps but, for example, in the rave culture of electronic dance music, vast crowds may engage in free dance, uncoordinated with those around them. On the other hand, some cultures lay down strict rules as to the particular dances in which, for example, men, women and children may or must participate. Dance is generally, though not exclusively, performed with the accompaniment of music and may or may not be performed in time to such music. Some dance (such as tap dance) may provide its own audible accompaniment in place of (or in addition to) music. Many early forms of music and dance were created for each other and are frequently performed together. Notable examples of traditional dance/music couplings include the jig, waltz, tango, disco, and salsa. Some musical genres have a parallel dance form such as baroque music and baroque dance; other varieties of dance and music may share nomenclature but developed separately, such as classical music and classical ballet. Rhythm and dance are deeply linked in history and practice. The American dancer Ted Shawn wrote; "The conception of rhythm which underlies all studies of the dance is something about which we could talk forever, and still not finish."[13] A musical rhythm requires two main elements; first, a regularly-repeating pulse (also called the "beat" or "tactus") that establishes the tempo and, second, a pattern of accents and rests that establishes the character of the metre or basic rhythmic pattern. The basic pulse is roughly equal in duration to a simple step or gesture. A basic tango rhythm Dances generally have a characteristic tempo and rhythmic pattern. The tango, for example, is usually danced in 2 4 time at approximately 66 beats per minute. The basic slow step, called a "slow", lasts for one beat, so that a full "right–left" step is equal to one 2 4 measure. The basic forward and backward walk of the dance is so counted - "slow-slow" - while many additional figures are counted "slow - quick-quick.[14] Just as musical rhythms are defined by a pattern of strong and weak beats, so repetitive body movements often depends on alternating "strong" and "weak" muscular movements.[15] Given this alternation of left-right, of forward-backward and rise-fall, along with the bilateral symmetry of the human body, it is natural that many dances and much music are in duple and quadruple meter. However, since some such movements require more time in one phase than the other - such as the longer time required to lift a hammer than to strike - some dance rhythms fall equally naturally into triple metre.[16] Occasionally, as in the folk dances of the Balkans, dance traditions depend heavily on more complex rhythms. Further, complex dances composed of a fixed sequence of steps always require phrases and melodies of a certain fixed length to accompany that sequence. Lululaund - The Dancing Girl (painting and silk cloth. A.L. Baldry 1901, before p.107), The inscription reads; "Dancing is a form of rhythm/ Rhythm is a form of music/ Music is a form of thought/ And thought is a form of divinity." The very act of dancing, the steps themselves, generate an "initial skeleton of rhythmic beats" that must have preceded any separate musical accompaniment, while dance itself, as much as music, requires time-keeping[17] just as utilitarian repetitive movements such as walking, hauling and digging take on, as they become refined, something of the quality of dance.[15] Musical accompaniment therefore arose in the earliest dance, so that ancient Egyptians attributed the origin of the dance to the divine Athotus, who was said to have observed that music accompanying religious rituals caused participants to move rhythmically and to have brought these movements into proportional measure. The same idea, that dance arises from musical rhythm, is still found in renaissance Europe in the works of the dancing master Guglielmo Ebreo da Pesaro who speaks of dance as a physical movement that arises from and expresses inward, spiritual motion agreeing with the "measures and perfect concords of harmony" that fall upon the human ear, [15] while, earlier, Mechthild of Magdeburg, seizing upon dance as a symbol of the holy life foreshadowed in Jesus' saying "I have piped and ye have not danced", [18] writes; I can not dance unless thou leadest. If thou wouldst have me spring aloft, sing thou and I will spring, into love and from love to knowledge and from knowledge to ecstasy above all human sense[19] Thoinot Arbeau's celebrated 16th century dance-treatise Orchésographie, indeed, begins with definitions of over eighty distinct drum-rhythms.[20] Helen Moller As has been shown above, dance has been represented through the ages as having emerged as a response to music yet, as Lincoln Kirstein implied, it is at least as likely that primitive music arose from dance. Shawn concurs, stating that dance "was the first art of the human race, and the matrix out of which all other arts grew" and that even the "metre in our poetry today is a result of the accents necessitated by body movement, as the dancing and reciting were performed simultaneously"[13] - an assertion somewhat supported by the common use of the term "foot" to describe the fundamental rhythmic units of poetry. Scholes, not a dancer but a musician, offers support for this view, stating that the steady measures of music, of two, three or four beats to the bar, its equal and balanced phrases, regular cadences, contrasts and repetitions, may all be attributed to the "incalculable" influence of dance upon music.[21] Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, primarily a musician and teacher, relates how a study of the physical movements of pianists led him "to the discovery that musical sensations of a rhythmic nature call for the muscular and nervous response of the whole organism", to develop "a special training designed to regulate nervous reactions and effect a co-ordination of muscles and nerves" and ultimately to seek the connections between "the art of music and the art of dance", which he formulated into his system of eurhythmics.[22] He concluded that "musical rhythm is only the transposition into sound of movements and dynamisms spontaneously and involuntarily expressing emotion".[23] Hence, though doubtless, as Shawn asserts, "it is quite possible to develop the dance without music and... music is perfectly capable of standing on its own feet without any assistance from the dance", nevertheless the "two arts will always be related and the relationship can be profitable both to the dance and to music", [24] the precedence of one art over the other being a moot point. The common ballad measures of hymns and folk-songs takes their name from dance, as does the carol, originally a circle dance. Many purely musical pieces have been named "waltz" or "minuet", for example, while many concert dances have been produced that are based upon abstract musical pieces, such as 2 and 3 Part Inventions, Adams Violin Concerto and Andantino. Similarly, poems are often structured and named after dances or musical works, while dance and music have both drawn their conception of "measure" or "metre" from poetry. Shawn quotes with approval the statement of Dalcroze that, while the art of musical rhythm consists in differentiating and combining time durations, pauses and accents "according to physiological law", that of "plastic rhythm" (i.e. dance) "is to designate movement in space, to interpret long time-values by slow movements and short ones by quick movements, regulate pauses by their divers successions and express sound accentuations in their multiple nuances by additions of bodily weight, by means of muscular innervations". Shawn nevertheless points out that the system of musical time is a "man-made, artificial thing.... a manufactured tool, whereas rhythm is something that has always existed and depends on man not at all", being "the continuous flowing time which our human minds cut up into convenient units", suggesting that music might be revivified by a return to the values and the time-perception of dancing.[25] The early-20th-century American dancer Helen Moller stated simply that "it is rhythm and form more than harmony and color which, from the beginning, has bound music, poetry and dancing together in a union that is indissoluble. Concert dance Concert dance, like opera, generally depends for its large-scale form upon a narrative dramatic structure. The movements and gestures of the choreography are primarily intended to mime the personality and aims of the characters and their part in the plot.[27] Such theatrical requirements tend towards longer, freer movements than those usual in non-narrative dance styles. On the other hand, the ballet blanc, developed in the 19th century, allows interludes of rhythmic dance that developed into entirely "plotless" ballets in the 20th century[28] and that allowed fast, rhythmic dance-steps such as those of the petit allegro. A well-known example is The Cygnets' Dance in act two of Swan Lake. The ballet developed out of courtly dramatic productions of 16th- and 17th-century France and Italy and for some time dancers performed dances developed from those familiar from the musical suite, [29] all of which were defined by definite rhythms closely identified with each dance. These appeared as character dances in the era of romantic nationalism. Ballet reached widespread vogue in the romantic era, accompanied by a larger orchestra and grander musical conceptions that did not lend themselves easily to rhythmic clarity and by dance that emphasised dramatic mime. A broader concept of rhythm was needed, that which Rudolf Laban terms the "rhythm and shape" of movement that communicates character, emotion and intention, [30] while only certain scenes required the exact synchronisation of step and music essential to other dance styles, so that, to Laban, modern Europeans seemed totally unable to grasp the meaning of "primitive rhythmic movements", [31] a situation that began to change in the 20th century with such productions as Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring with its new rhythmic language evoking primal feelings of a primitive past.[32] Indian classical dance styles, like ballet, are often in dramatic form, so that there is a similar complementarity between narrative expression and "pure" dance. In this case, however, the two are separately defined, though not always separately performed. The rhythmic elements, which are abstract and technical, are known as nritta. Both this and expressive dance (nritya), though, are closely tied to the rhythmic system (tala). Teachers have adapted the spoken rhythmic mnemonic system called bol to the needs of dancers. Japanese classical dance-theatre styles such as Kabuki and Noh, like Indian dance-drama, distinguish between narrative and abstract dance productions. The three main categories of kabuki are jidaimono (historical), sewamono (domestic) and shosagoto (dance pieces).[33] Somewhat similarly, Noh distinguishes between Geki Noh, based around the advancement of plot and the narration of action, and Furyū Noh, dance pieces involving acrobatics, stage properties, multiple characters and elaborate stage action.
Dance is a performing art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value, and is acknowledged as dance by performers and observers within a particular culture.[nb 1] Dance can be categorized and described by its choreography, by i...
Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practices, which are practiced for a number of reasons: as self-defense, military and law enforcement applications, mental and spiritual development; as well as entertainment and the preservation of a nation's intangible cultural heritage. Although the term martial art has become associated with the fighting arts of eastern Asia, it originally referred to the combat systems of Europe as early as the 1550s. The term is derived from Latin, and means "arts of Mars", the Roman god of war.[1] Some authors have argued that fighting arts or fighting systems would be more appropriate on the basis that many martial arts were never "martial" in the sense of being used or created by professional warriors. Martial arts may be categorized along a variety of criteria, including: Traditional or historical arts vs. contemporary styles of folk wrestling and modern hybrid martial arts. Techniques taught: Armed vs. unarmed, and within these groups by type of weapon (swordsmanship, stick fighting etc.) and by type of combat (grappling vs. striking; stand-up fighting vs. ground fighting) By application or intent: self-defense, combat sport, choreography or demonstration of forms, physical fitness, meditation, etc. Within Chinese tradition: "external" vs. "internal" styles Unarmed Unarmed martial arts can be broadly grouped into focusing on strikes, those focusing on grappling and those that cover both fields, often described as hybrid martial arts. Strikes Punching: Boxing, Wing Chun, Karate Kicking: Taekwondo, Capoeira, Savate Others using strikes: Muay Thai, Kung Fu Grappling Throwing: Hapkido, Judo, Sumo, Wrestling, Aikido Joint lock/Chokeholds/Submission holds: Jujutsu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Sambo Pinning Techniques: Judo, Wrestling, Aikido Armed The traditional martial arts, which train armed combat, often encompass a wide spectrum of melee weapons, including bladed weapons and polearms. Such traditions include eskrima, silat, kalaripayat, kobudo, and historical European martial arts, especially those of the German Renaissance. Many Chinese martial arts also feature weapons as part of their curriculum. Sometimes, training with one specific weapon will be considered a style of martial arts in its own right, which is especially the case in Japanese martial arts with disciplines such as kenjutsu and kendo (sword), bojutsu (staff), and kyudo (archery). Similarly, modern Western martial arts and sports include modern fencing, stick-fighting systems like canne de combat and jogo do pau, and modern competitive archery. Combat-oriented Main articles: Combat sport and Self-defense Health-oriented Many martial arts, especially those from Asia, also teach side disciplines which pertain to medicinal practices. This is particularly prevalent in traditional Asian martial arts which may teach bone-setting, herbalism, and other aspects of traditional medicine.[3] Spirituality-oriented Martial arts can also be linked with religion and spirituality. Numerous systems are reputed to have been founded, disseminated, or practiced by monks or nuns. Throughout Asia, meditation may be incorporated as part of training. In those countries influenced by Hindu-Buddhist philosophy, the art itself may be used as an aid to attaining enlightenment. Japanese styles, when concerning non-physical qualities of the combat, are often strongly influenced by Mahayana Buddhist philosophy. Concepts like "empty mind" and "beginner's mind" are recurrent. Aikido, for instance, can have a strong philosophical belief of the flow of energy and peace fostering, as idealised by its founder Morihei Ueshiba. Traditional Korean martial arts place emphasis on the development of the practitioner's spiritual and philosophical development. A common theme in most Korean styles, such as taekkyeon and taekwondo, is the value of "inner peace" in a practitioner, which is stressed to be only achieved through individual meditation and training. The Koreans believe that the use of physical force is only justified through defense. Systema draws upon breathing and relaxation techniques, as well as elements of Russian Orthodox thought, to foster self-conscience and calmness, and to benefit the practitioner in different levels: the physical, the psychological and the spiritual.[4] Some martial arts in various cultures can be performed in dance-like settings for various reasons, such as for evoking ferocity in preparation for battle or showing off skill in a more stylized manner. Many such martial arts incorporate music, especially strong percussive rhythms. (See also war dance.)