What is dance?

Let us assume about modern dance:

  • There is a certain set of “correct” movements
  • A hierarchy of movement exists
  • Higher movement should be studied and utilized to seek the truth
  • More potent/efficient ways of moving will help you find that truth faster
  • Through the hierarchy of movement, you can transcend reality/your physical being/this realm
  • Through this hierarchy of movement and using more potent/efficient movements, you find a higher plane of existence.
  • Some movement is more important than other movement

Let us also assume that you can find the truth through:

  • the purposeful deconstruction of movement
  • the belief that all movement is equal
  • nothing is unimportant

The above principles came to us through the post-modern dance movement.

Modern dance is just ballet turned on its side, and I use ballet as my example as the mainstream “norm” because I am talking about western dance (the only type I’m vaguely qualified to discuss) and court/peasant dances haven’t been codified enough to be used.

Modern dance still assumes a set of “correct” movements, and even things like contractions can be incorrect depending on which style of modern you are working in. These correct movements came about because they were

  1. Efficient
  2. Used in the choreography enough that the choreographer wanted to study them
  3. Considered “higher” movement by the choreographer
  4. Able to be utilized to compose a piece of dance in a way the choreographer felt would expose the truth

Post-modern dance assumes that

  1. Nothing is unimportant
  2. Traditional composition presents constraint

None of these assumptions were created with the intent to last forever. Just as ballet assumed the turnout to be the most correct and efficient, modern came in and said that parallel was just as correct and efficient. Contemporary dance claims the sickled foot is just as important as the non-sickled foot that modern dance tends to stay with.

Every wall that dance builds is broken down, again, by dance itself.

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