International Dance Day

HugalHugal Shipmate
edited April 29 in Purgatory
Today (29/04/21) is International Dance Day, so I thought I would start a thread As someone who has been a ballroom dancer since the age of six, learned several other styles and has led the Christian Dance Fellowship of Britain, I believe dance has great value in our society. Not only as an artist expression but for personal, national, social and worshipful purposes. Civilisations from the simplest to the most complicated use forms of dance to express these things.
What do ship mates think. Is dance still valuable or is it dying? Has Covid-19 harmed the popularity of dance? Over to you.

Comments

  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Dancing is quintessentially human. It is an expression of joy. My aunt ran a dance studio before her retirement, and I always think of her when I watch Strictly Ballroom.
  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    Ah, that film was instrumental in my cunning plan to snaffle Hugal back in 1992 - and it worked!
  • Covid has wounded dance companies, certainly, but not the art. I haven't yet had a chance to view them, but The National Ballet of Canada has created three(?) pieces specifically to be viewed on the small screen. My tastes run more (but by no means exclusively) to modern, mostly post-Graham dance. My God, how I long to see a live performance of anything again.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited April 29
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Dancing is quintessentially human. It is an expression of joy. My aunt ran a dance studio before her retirement, and I always think of her when I watch Strictly Ballroom.

    Not sure it is. I don't have much to contribute to this thread as I fundamentally don't get dance. It does nothing for me, I feel no desire to do it, and get no pleasure from watching other people do it. So really my only contribution is to say it can't be quintessentially human unless I am not human.

    Don't worry, I have no intention of contributing further, but I felt I had to address that point.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I love to dance. But, since my early twenties, I’ve only danced when nobody is watching. But I often do, while doing my house work.

    I bet my friend knows you @Hugal - she has close links to the Christian dance fellowship!
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    @KarlLB this is a discussion thread any contributions are welcome.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    I love to dance. But, since my early twenties, I’ve only danced when nobody is watching. But I often do, while doing my house work.

    I bet my friend knows you @Hugal - she has close links to the Christian dance fellowship!

    Cool.
    Dance is not about upfront performances only. There is something about letting go and having a good boogie.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    I love to dance. But, since my early twenties, I’ve only danced when nobody is watching. But I often do, while doing my house work.

    I bet my friend knows you @Hugal - she has close links to the Christian dance fellowship!

    Cool.
    Dance is not about upfront performances only. There is something about letting go and having a good boogie.

    Note my name! :wink:

  • Jemima the 9thJemima the 9th Shipmate
    edited April 29
    I am a terrible dancer, but I love to do it. I’m of the age where I have a definite “Mum dance” the having of which is nice in its own way, it reminds me of my Mum, who also had a Mum dance. Usually to Rod Stewart. It is not, necessarily, a thing of beauty to witness, but it’s good for me.

    Occasionally, I will dance round the kitchen (it’s a very small kitchen, the risk of injury is real) with child C, who is 8, if something worthy comes on the radio.

    I’d love to have the grace to ballroom dance, but see earlier comments re: dancing in public.
  • HelixHelix Shipmate
    I am partly with @KarlLB but also with @Jemima the 9th. In one sense, dance does nothing for me but when I can get over myself - I do the mum dance thing around my flat. I love to think that I dance like Darcy Bussell who is one of my girl crushes - and i like to think that I dance with grace and ease. The reality, I know is different. But I love the feeling of perhaps I am extraordinarily graceful and my limbs make lovely shapes. What I do love is the feeling of connecting with my body - such as is found in other movement exercises such as yoga.
  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    I’m another who loves to dance but is shockingly bad at it.

    I’m also another who can’t wait to be able to go and see a good ballet again.
  • @Pangolin Guerre - the Royal Opera House here has been streaming opera and ballet through the lockdown, which I keep forgetting to check, but have seen quite a few performances.

    There's also Morris Dancing online this weekend; in lots of places because it's May Day. If anyone really wants links I could find them. And quite a few of the folk concerts I've attended on Zoom the audience has been seen to be dancing along in their living rooms, some even Morris dancing.
  • I used to be keen on dance, and used to frequent Pineapple Studios, and even did courses in it. Rather a wild style, with some dervish moments of tranquillity. In fact, I still have some dervish type music. Alas, those leaves you see upon the boughs, when they do tumble, resemble my grey hairs. I remember my girl-friend crying at Pineapple because she was uncoordinated, so I said to her, that is your dance. Tis true.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    My daughter began taking dance at, I think, 3 years of age, and she took dance until junior year of high school. At that point, time constraints—she’s also an athlete—and some bad experiences with her teacher led her to stop taking classes full time, though she still looked for opportunities for an occasional class or other chances to dance. She had just found a good fit for dance classes at college when COVID hit and messed that up. Hopefully, she can get back to it soon.

    I enjoy dancing at weddings, parties, etc., and I like to think I’m pretty good at it. (My wife seems to think so.). But I will admit that I really don’t get performance dance at all—years of watching my daughter’s recitals notwithstanding. I can see the art, the skill and the talent in it. But going to the ballet or a dance performance is, to me, the quintessential experience of boredom. I have been known just to close my eyes and listen to the music.

    To be clear, though, I understand the difference between “ballet is boring” and “ballet is boring to me.” I would only make the second assertion.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Dancing is quintessentially human. It is an expression of joy. My aunt ran a dance studio before her retirement, and I always think of her when I watch Strictly Ballroom.

    Not sure it is. I don't have much to contribute to this thread as I fundamentally don't get dance. It does nothing for me, I feel no desire to do it, and get no pleasure from watching other people do it. So really my only contribution is to say it can't be quintessentially human unless I am not human.

    Don't worry, I have no intention of contributing further, but I felt I had to address that point.

    I like to hop around while listening to music alone, and I suppose I'm okay with the typical dancing done to rock music and related genres in nightclubs. Anything more structured than the hokey-pokey, and I'm totally lost.
  • Covid has wounded dance companies, certainly, but not the art. I haven't yet had a chance to view them, but The National Ballet of Canada has created three(?) pieces specifically to be viewed on the small screen. My tastes run more (but by no means exclusively) to modern, mostly post-Graham dance. My God, how I long to see a live performance of anything again.

    Ever since I was dragooned into seeing a Pilobulus performance over a quarter century ago, I have been a rabid follower of experimental dance. There is something extraordinary in how these artists can turn bodily movement into a way for us to look at the world differently. My preference has been for the small studio performances and workshops where they build their pieces. Like contemporary poetry, most of it is really bad, but when it is not, it is transcendent.

    While I've been told I'm a good dancer, I've never enjoyed it. I will take my place in the pews, and write cheques to keep them going.
  • Helix wrote: »
    What I do love is the feeling of connecting with my body - such as is found in other movement exercises such as yoga.

    Yes, this for me too. I am an anxious person, and to move into my body (or in yoga, to use both body and mind together) is a good thing for me. Same with running, when it’s going well. (It usually doesn’t.)
  • I saw the Royal Ballet's Winter's Tale (YouTube link) and the Sam Wanamaker/Globe production of the play, within a few months, and the ballet's expression of jealousy was coruscating.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    To be clear, though, I understand the difference between “ballet is boring” and “ballet is boring to me.” I would only make the second assertion.

    I quite enjoy ballet, because the dance tells a story. I have no interest at all in watching "strictly", or some similar competitive dance: that sort of dance might be fun to do, but I don't get anything out of watching it.

    Most of the "dancing" that accompanies modern music videos and seems to involve the thrusting and gyrating of scantily-clad pelvises seems to belong to a rather older and more private form of horizontal dance. I don't want to watch that either.
  • Mrs BF and I used to shake a pretty mean shoe at Barn Dances, Ceilidhs, and suchlike folksy events, though neither of us was keen on ballroom dancing.

    Our performance of *Strip the Willow* was a sight to behold with wonder and delight, cuz we Got it Right...
    :open_mouth:

    The sort of jigging around that passes for dancing in night clubs and so on is an Abomination Before The Lord.
    :grimace:
  • snowflakesnowflake Shipmate Posts: 44
    The sort of jigging around that passes for dancing in night clubs and so on is an Abomination Before The Lord.
    :grimace:

    I find that that sort of dancing is merely...incidental to all the other goings-on at the night club.
    Then again, the one time I ever went to a nightclub was during my first week of university, and I loathed it so much I never tried again.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    snowflake wrote: »
    The sort of jigging around that passes for dancing in night clubs and so on is an Abomination Before The Lord.
    :grimace:

    I find that that sort of dancing is merely...incidental to all the other goings-on at the night club.
    Then again, the one time I ever went to a nightclub was during my first week of university, and I loathed it so much I never tried again.

    As the person who first brought nightclubs into the thread, I should say for the record that I am NOT a fan either. Deafening music, filthy washrooms, the whole thing an absolute affront to my senses.

    It's just that, yeah, I can dance passably according to the standards of such places. Largely because it is totally unstructured.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    I like the fact that Darcy Bussell as well as being a great ballerina also seems to be a fun person.
  • Danceophiliacs who are in reach of Canada Post outlets might enjoy the new
    Canadian Ballet Legends stamps commemorating Karen Kain and Karen Kain and Fernand Nault. Images can be seen on this ad-laden site (https://www.linns.com/news/world-stamps-postal-history/canadian-ballet-legends-honored-april-29-on-new-stamps).
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    “Danceophiliacs”? Surely we can do better than that. Terpsichorophiles, maybe?

  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    I understand not enjoying dance as I can’t abide football (soccer) and that is a sin if you are a man. The main problem with watching dance is, unlike football you tend not pick the basics up by osmosis. Football is all around us in the UK and even those who don’t like it pick up something by sheer volume of coverage.
    Dance is not so prevalent and understanding the basics is not picked up automatically. Ballet uses mime a lot to push the story on. Some people genuinely do not like watching dance but for many it just feels alien.
  • Dave W wrote: »
    “Danceophiliacs”? Surely we can do better than that. Terpsichorophiles, maybe?

    Quite right, but I could not remember the exact muse at the time of typing. I was distracted by a tree falling down the street. This doesn't happen often.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    <snip>I was distracted by a tree falling down the street. This doesn't happen often.

    Normally they fall down without distracting you? ( :tongue: )
  • MarthaMartha Shipmate
    I did Leroc dancing (modern jive) some years ago, and really enjoyed it. The feeling of getting the moves just right was great, and it was relaxed enough not to matter if I got it completely wrong.

    It made me think, too, that for people living alone there are not many ways that it's socially acceptable to touch other people, but partner dancing is one of them.

    Of course, that may then lead to something more... I met my husband at a dance class!
  • I was once told that, "Music is song and dance." By that, the teacher meant dance, song, and music are all different - and interconnected - manifestations of the constant flow of motion and emotion in every human body.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    <snip>I was distracted by a tree falling down the street. This doesn't happen often.

    Normally they fall down without distracting you? ( :tongue: )

    A few years ago, one did fall without distracting me, but I was making pastry at the time and was in the zone. I checked later and saw that it had done damage to an SUV.

    In any case a Vancouver friend is doing a zoom dance lab later this evening, and I must ensure that I am fed before I begin to watch these lithe young people do impossible things.
  • MiliMili Shipmate
    I'm a really bad dancer, but I used 'Just Dance' videos on Youtube to dance badly to and keep up my fitness when Melbourne was locked down last winter. Now we are out of lockdown I went to an 80s dance class for a friends hens do and danced badly at her wedding. It was so much fun to dance with other people again. Today I finally went back to the theatre to see the Australian musical https://www.fangirlsmusical.com/ which has deliberately so-bad-its-good nerdy fangirl dancing, boyband dancing and good modern dancing as well as some deliberately comedic rhythmic gymnastics. I loved it!
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    I thought it was on the summer solstice that the Long Dance was danced throughout the Archipelago.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    My wife and I went out for dinner on the eve of our anniversary and Strictly was on the telly when we got home. Its just finished. I cried. It wasn't just the drink.
  • PoppyPoppy Shipmate Posts: 25
    I dance. I teach it, choreograph it and miss it dreadfully during Covid times. For me dance is about listening to the music, the rhythm, what the choreographer intended, what my body is saying, my neighbour/partner and God. In the dance I find stillness and that is where there is the opportunity to encounter the divine. I have found a huge resistance to dance in Christian circles possibly because it is so frequently done badly, but maybe because it is unfamiliar and people don’t know the language. My plan is now to get fit so that I can get back to dance again.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    I have never tried movement as spirituality. I'm a stillness person all internal. I do have to remember to position myself properly, and be attentive to my body as a way of calming the inner monologue. Its interesting that dancers achieve stillness in movement. One day I might get to experience that.
  • SusanDorisSusanDoris Shipmate
    I think I might possibly have mentioned tap dancing occasionally! I get out my tap board about every 10 days, put on the shoes and imagine I'm still putting in all the hops and springs. Fortunately, I have my machine which slows the music as my body simply won't allow me to dance at the speed I used to!

    I've danced all my life, ballroom, Scottish,but always learning the steps. I am completely unable to create my own.
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