Portal:Dance

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Der Kinderreigen
Dance (from Old French dancier, perhaps from Frankish) generally refers to human movement either used as a form of expression or presented in a social, spiritual or performance setting.

Dance also is used to describe methods of non-verbal communication (see body language) between humans or animals (bee dance, mating dance), motion in inanimate objects (the leaves danced in the wind), and certain genres.

Choreography is the art of making dances.

Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on social, cultural, aesthetic, artistic and moral constraints and range from functional movement (such as folk dance) to codified, virtuoso techniques such as ballet. Dance disciplines exist in sports such as gymnastics, figure skating, and synchronized swimming, and martial arts kata are often compared to dance.

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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.

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Tutu by Edgar Degas
Credit: Tutu by Edgar Degas

A ballet tutu is a skirt worn as a costume in a ballet performance, often with attached bodice. It might be single layer, hanging down, or multiple layers starched and strutting out. Tutus were often cherished as costumes, for the tanning makeup people used to wear was forbidden to touch the costumes. Ballet Ports de Bras arm movements were modified to not touch the elegant costumes.

Did you know

Rosina Galli

... that Rosina Galli (pictured) 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?

... during the production of Sylvia, the score was constantly under construction by Delibes, often with the aid of lead dancers Louis Mérante and Rita Sangalli?

... the Baltic Song and Dance Celebrations are Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity?

...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

Jerry Mitchell is an American theatre director and choreographer. He served as both director and choreographer for Legally Blonde: The Musical, which opened in April 2007 and Peep Show, the stage show for Planet Hollywood Paradise starring Holly Madison.

Most of his career has been in theatre; however, in 2008 he served as a mentor on Bravo's reality competition Step It Up and Dance. In 2005 he won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography for La Cage aux Folles.

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