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Introduction

Two dancers.jpg

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. 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, 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.

Selected article

Gaskell Ball
Ballroom dance, refers collectively to a set of partner dances, which originated in the Western world and are now enjoyed both socially and competitively around the globe. Its performance and entertainment aspects are also widely enjoyed on stage, in film, and on television.

While historically ballroom dance may refer to any form of formal social dancing as recreation, with the eminence of dancesport in modern times the term has become much narrower in scope, usually referring specifically to the International Standard and International Latin style dances (see dance groupings below). In the United States, two additional variations—"American Smooth" and "American Rhythm"—have also been popularized and are commonly recognized as styles of "ballroom dance".

The term "ballroom dancing" is derived from the word ball, which in turn originates from the Latin word ballare which means "to dance". In times past, ballroom dancing was "social dancing" for the privileged, leaving "folk dancing" for the lower classes. These boundaries have since become blurred, and it should be noted even in times long gone, many "ballroom" dances were really elevated folk dances.

Selected picture

A tap dancer jumping into the air
Credit: Airborne tap dancer, photo by Lambtron

Tap dance is a form of dance in which the shoes worn by the dancer, known as tap shoes, are used as percussive instruments. The percussive sounds are made by metal "taps" on the heel and toe of each shoe.

Did you know

Stella Bloch

... that Stella Bloch (pictured) headlined in New York after she returned from learning Javanese dancing at the Prince of Solo's palace?

... that Rosina Galli was the prima ballerina at La Scala Theatre Ballet before she became the première danseuse at the Metropolitan Opera House?

... that LeRoy Prinz, who staged dances in dozens of Hollywood movies in the 1930s and 1940s, was more an "idea man" than a choreographer, using simple steps and dance routines?

... that Tatjana Gsovsky, ballet mistress at opera houses in East Berlin, Buenos Aires and West Berlin, first choreographed ballets by Henze and Nono?

...that the score of Giselle contains additions by Léon Minkus?

... that in 2008, the Romanian ballet mistress Mijaela Tesleoanu was one of only two non-Cubans on the payroll of the Cuban National Ballet?

Selected biography

Photo of Emma Livry, c. 1860
Emma Livry (September 24, 1842 – July 26, 1863) was one of the last ballerinas of the Romantic ballet era, and a protégée of Marie Taglioni. She perished from burn injuries when her costume caught fire during a performance rehearsal.

Emma studied dancing while young and attended the Paris Opera School. She made her debut at age sixteen with the Paris Opera as the sylph in La Sylphide. Her talent brought her fame and she became a widely respected ballerina.

Marie Taglioni noticed her during one of her performances and immediately took a liking to the girl, becoming her mentor. Marie choreographed for Emma in the ballet Le Papillon, a piece by Jacques Offenbach that was especially created just for Emma.

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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20th century concert dance • Ballet • Ballroom dance • Ceremonial dance • Competitive dance • Folk dance • Glossary of ballet terms • Glossary of partner dance terms • Hip Hop dance • Historical dance • Latin dance • Salsa dance • Sequence dance • Swing

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Mikhail Baryshnikov • Vytautas Beliajus • Dick Crum • Emma Livry • Rudolf Nureyev • Pedro Romeiras • More...

Lautrec la troupe de mlle eglantine (poster) 1895-6

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