Dance an Expression of Life
Dance is not merely body movement- it is like poetry in motion as someone said. With thoughts, emotions, expressions and elegant movements, it brings alive the meaning. Dance is an art from which is done with body, mind and soul. A dance done by our body alone is incomplete- it has to have the right expressions and involvement of the dancer. his/ her inner self. Dance must be done with lot of passion, for it to bring out the beauty of the music or song.
From the hunting dances- depicting the prey and hunting scene, during the cavemen time, to the present day fusion or modem dance, dances have evolved in every culture in east and west.
Dances generally are rhythmic, repetitive with slow movements or fast movements maintaining co-ordination between the music, steps, expression and grace. Though any person who likes music may dance a little or use steps according to the rhythm. very few people bring out the expression of emotion involved. So, anyone can dance but not all are good dancers though. The dances which are performed for an audience are mostly traditional and presented after practice. To understand the minutest detail of expression in these dances one must know the meanings of various symbols or ‘mudras’ showed by the dancers. Where as in the informal or dances which are just done for pleasure or entertainment, rigid rules or steps are no followed. It’s more adaptable, spontaneous and less complicated in expression.
The informal dance that is dances which are set to light music, fast rhythmic beats or popular film music because of its simple nature are liked by present generations as against the traditional and complicated classical types.
One is a pure art at higher level and the other is art which appeals to the common man. All the different expressions of joy, fun, anger, sorrow, surprise, love or hate can be expressed in the pure dance forms, with great grace. The same emotions of life can be expressed in today’s dance but in simple ways. The importance has shifted from showing right expressions gracefully to the feel ‘nice or good’ of dancing. Today, dancing is not just an art but an outlet to release our fears & enjoy and feel good about ourselves.
Dance has been and is an expression of different phases of life. It is performed during birth, initiation into adulthood, marriage or even death (in some communities). It’s performed to express our devotion to gods, please the gods & invoke the gods in different cultures.
No one teaches little toddlers to dance but generally we find children attracted to the rhythms and start to move their hands, legs, body or head! They do it before even learning to speak meaningful words. That’s the way they express joy probably.
Its quality of lifting one’s sprits, making us a little more confident, expressive in our feelings and general ‘feel good’ factor makes it more attractive to people, today. We find more and more people taking to dancing.
The serious ones go for the traditional type and the people who want enjoy go for the simple modern ones. Some dance when they are happy, some when they are sad and some when they are disturbed or angry (just like lord Shiva who performed the ‘thandav’). Indeed, dance is an expression of life whether learnt and done or spontaneously done.