Dance Technique Versus Dance Performance

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Dance Technique versus Dance Performance

Dance Technique versus Dance Performance


Dance represents a beautiful synthesis of many other art forms. Different arts, independent in their own way, actually have a common ground of the same blissful aesthetic experience. This aesthetic thread of rasa or bliss is the basic concept, which runs through and combines all art forms into one manifestation and experience of the beautiful and blissful. Thus, they play the dual role of beneficiary and benefactors to one another and in the process enrich others and are enriched themselves. The artist (dancer) and the spectator share this common bliss and ecstatic experience.

Dance Technique versus Dance Performance

The spectators should be well oriented and cultivated to enjoy a given dance recital, or they would remain outsider to this experience of joy and ecstasy. Indian classical dance pre-supposes a dancer and an audience both well oriented, initiated and cultivated so as to be possessed of the same aesthetic rapport between the two. It is a kind of participation in an inner spiritual vision and enlightenment. This common sharing transforms a dance recital into holy ritual, a spiritual interaction or communication.

It has been rightly observed that in Indian classical dances there is no amateur but all are professionals. A dancer has to undergo a continuous long and arduous conventional training and practice for years together before he or she can come before the spectators. It makes Indian dances impersonal and traditional. The dance movements, the rhythms and accompanying music all remain the same whoever the dancer might be. There is nothing left to chance or improvisation. There is hardly any room for personal emotions, feelings and sentiments. The same dance patterns are followed which have been evolved by maestros of the art during the past centuries. A dance recital must strictly conform to the age old and well established art traditions. That is why it presupposes a receptive viewer, a responsive audience, an audience well initiated in the techniques of the art. In the words of Ananda Coomaraswamy, "the exhibition of his art is altogether independent of his emotional condition, and if he is moved by what he represents he is moved as a spectator. Excellent acting wears the perfect air of spontaneity, but that is the art which conceals art".

The rasa realized and experienced both by the performer and the viewer remains the same impersonal and objective entity. It is an art concealing art, totally impersonal, objective, traditional, deliberate, and elaborate in technique and appeal. It breaks a new ground of perception; opens entirely a new vision of Reality. We all as human beings desire deeply to be released from the prison of our ego, to experience that state of being which is blissful, the condition of oneness and togetherness with the Universal Spirit. Dance recitals help us to regain that lost heaven of unity and oneness. All aesthetic experiences arising out of dance, drama, music, poetry, etc. form the return pathway. To borrow a metaphor from poet Shelley, life is a dome ...
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