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DANCE

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

A WorldWide collective of Dance visual Stories


Day 7

📍USA, Native American Dance


“The power of this place is indescribable” Said Michelle Reed, who performed in this video.

_____________________


“…To the average visitor or non-native person, Native American dances may seem like simple steps, hops, and jumps, that essentially keep rhythm with the beat of the drum. But in reality, these dances are so much more than that. There are hundreds of them, with variations existing from tribe to tribe. Dance is a way of expression, a language in itself. They tell stories, and they are used as a medium for prayer and each dance has its own significant meaning in Native American culture.


…A huge part of any of these and other Native American dances is the regalia worn by the dancers. Regalia is actually an expression of each individual dancer, and often takes years to gather and build. Adornments are often handmade, by the dancer, or passed down from family members or another dancer. ..”


“…Traditional dances commonly take place in an open field, around a blazing fire or central drum, or in a long structure, such as a longhouse. The steps mimic the movement of people or animals or symbolize simple gestures, whether that’s expressing prayer, victory, or thanks. Some dances are led by specific individuals, while others are a community effort.” From a source: https://culturallyours.com/podcast/native-american-dance-tradition/



 


Day 6

📍Africa


📸 Eva Colomer


✔︎ Nigeria: The Guérewol is an annual courtship ritual competition among the Wodaabe Fula people of Niger, Nigeria and Chad. Young men dressed in elaborate ornamentation and made up in traditional face painting gather in lines to dance and sing, vying for the attentions of marriageable young women.




✔︎ South Sudan: Traditional dance at the Lotuko community near


Torit, South Sudan.

The Lotuko are agro-pastoralists, keeping large herds of cows, sheep and goats. They also practice subsistence agriculture of different kinds of crops.





✔︎ Benin: Egungun or Kluitò dance: cult dedicated to the dead ones, to maintain their souls alive. The dead one never die. The different songs represent different meanings: the first ones are of sorrow and the second ones are of joy.

The attires are sacred and nobody can touch them.

The Egungun is part of the Voodoo and the government is promoting it.



✔︎ South Sudan: Traditional dance at a Lopit community. They are traditionally farmers

and pastoralists, and are marginalised by the dominate Lotuka elite.They believe in a supreme god, spirits and the spiritual sphere. The rain-maker and other mediums hold great power, and gifts are given to seek their favor for rain and other blessings.







 

Day 5

📍Hawaii


Hula is a dance of illusions. Behind the grace and the sway there is grit, athleticism, and a knee-breaking, blister-inducing effort to leave everything you have on the dance floor. Every year, the best compete at the Merrie Monarch Festival, the world’s most prestigious hula competition. Last year, we followed Kayli Ka’iulani Carr as she trained to win the festival's solo competition, Miss Aloha Hula.


“...Hula has its origins in ancient history as a ritual dance performed for the Volcano goddess, Pele. It is said that her sister, Hi'iaka originally performed the dance for Pele. The goddess Laka is the keeper of the dance. She was honored with prayers, offerings and leis which were given by the dancers…

Originally, the hula was called the "Ha`a". The name was changed to "Hula" in the l9th century….

▫︎When the dance began, it was done to poetic chants performed by men. The chant was

called the Mele. The men relayed the poetry and the female dancers played it out in expressive form. Instruments used were sharkskin drums, rattles, gourds and castanets. Costumes were not made of grass. Women wore wrapped skirts made of cloth and men wore loincloths. Leis, bracelets, and necklaces were worn then as they are now. Leis were not meant to be worn after a ritual dance....” To read history of Hula,

Every Island has its own style, but the Big Island’s one is by far the most powerful and as close to the Volcano energy as the Volcano itself.

It is always mesmerizing to watch Hula on Hawaii, while knowing that the active volcano Kilauea is right where you are, and the energy of the Island is so very special.

For me personally, Hawaiian music and dance sounds and looks just like the islands feel: soft energy, sweet air, and abundance of beauty.


 


Day 4

📍Iran

@edita_po_iranu


✿ While I had so many options of a dance video from Iran I could post, I decided to choose this one. This video speaks of the cultural traditions preserved, cherished, and passed on to the new generation.

Isn’t this what we all dream of? While moving forward in time, preserving what is old and precious. What makes us unique following our cultural imprint. ~(Nataly)✐


“Yellow, green, red are the favorite colors of the Iranian nomadic tribe of Kashkites. They decorate themselves with them during the period of weddings in March and April

. These colors remind them of spring nature - green meadows, yellow and still gentle sun and of course blooming poppy flowers” ~Edita✎


"Persian dance history is characterized by many fascinating and also tragic incidents. It seems to be completely unknown to the outside world, partly because of the present political situation of the country that has toned down the interest for a profound research effort. The other reason is the current archaeological discoveries and excavations in Iran, during the past thirty years. They have made it possible to have access to material and evidence for the origin of Persian dance, ever since the appearance of the cult of Mithra about two thousand years before our calendar....


The Cult of Mithra and the Origin of Persian Dance

The origin and rise of Persian dance as an independent and distinctive art form is estimated to be parallel with the birth of Mithraism and its spread. This cult centrally revolves around the ancient Persia's sun and light God, Mithra, who is the main figure in this mystery religion that during the late antique era spread over the entire Roman Empire. Numerous temples and depictions of the legendary Mithra have been located and excavated in the three continents of the ancient world; Asia, Africa and Europe. The latest discovery has been done in London as late as 1954.


The most important ritual in this cult has been the worship of Mithra, as he is sacrificing a bull. This act was believed to promote the vigour of life. The consecration to this belief was accomplished among other rites through the baptism in the blood of a bull, followed by a ritual dance performed only by men. This ceremonial act is considered as the earliest known form of Iranian dance, and the origin of the magic dance of the antique civilisations. It is typical for sacred Persic (Persian) dance, so called "Danse Persique Sacrée". Read more ▫︎ https://www.iranchamber.com/cinema/articles/persian_dance_history01.php


 


Day 3


📍Mexico


“From the pre-Hispanic ritual ceremonies of its ancient Mayan and Aztec ancestors to the lively festival performances of modern day, Mexico prides itself on its multiple dance styles as a celebration of the nation’s distinctive, historically-rich culture.

Mexican dances not only serve to preserve long-held traditions or to flaunt the highly-skilled movements, they also tell stories which captivate spectators with their variety of characters and vibrantly-colored costumes.


One of the most stunning and culturally rich dance expression of its kind, the Mexican

folk dances are a display of the colorful heritage of the country. Each of the thirty one states in Mexico have their unique dance styles.” (source in ■ Link In Bio)

Read more:

I have attended a cultural festival in Mexico, where every State was represented, wearing their traditional costumes, and performing the dance brought from a state. The array of colors, dress styles, and the movement was unified, and yet so very distinct, depicting the culture of each community.

If you have ever visited Mexico, you would know that music and dance is everywhere Mexico, a celebration or not, no matter what part of the country you are in! Though, it is fair to say, that in Mexico something is celebrated pretty much daily!❣️🎊🪅💃🏻

~WCOV (nataly)


With Gabriela Ramirez, 🇲🇽 Artistic Director of @cielodemexico



 


Day 2

Flamenco 💃🏻

Lizt Alfonso


The history of Flamenco origin is fairly clouded, and there are many sources which tell a slightly different story, or all together.


“Once of the origins, as it made sense to me personally, says that “the dance originated in the 15th century, with the arrival of the Gitanos (gypsies) to the Iberian Peninsul

a. This settlement occurred after a certain diaspora, in which the gypsies traveled for centuries across different lands of the globe, most likely India, Iran and Egypt. Through this, the gypsies started to adopt the various folk dances they encountered on their journey, which they then amalgamated in order to create their own culture, identity, and art of expression.”


The essence of flamenco is cante, or song. Flamenco songs fall into three categories: cante jondo (“profound song,” or “deep song”), cante intermedio (“intermediate song,” also called cante flamenco), and cante chico (“light song”).”

Each song style is distinguished by a characteristic rhythm and chord structure; yet several types of cante may share the same rhythm but individualize accentuation, subtleties, and emotional content.


The golden age of flamenco is usually considered to be the period between roughly 1780 and 1845. Singing was then the primary aspect of flamenco, dancing and musical accompaniment being secondary."


There is much to learn diving into the history, but the bottom line - it is an electric performance which makes your heart beat faster, makes want to move, and definitely makes you feel, A LOT!💃🏻


Credits: Homenaje a @manolo_sanlucar

Coreografía: María José Lesmes @lsmsballetceuta

Bailarines: Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba escuela/ school y Compañía (fragmento 1)


 


Day 1

📸Ulka Chauhan and

💃🏻Chelsea D’Souza


“A video portrait of a Catholic teenage girl in Goa breaking stereotypes with her pursuit of Kathak, a classical Indian dance form closely associated with the Hindu religion”. ~ Ulka Chauchan.

“I have always loved to use the body as a creative expression. When I first started out in dance, it was in western dance - . Later, I went to watch different Indian dances and fell in love. These dances had meaning and story behind them. I just love how as a classical dancer you can tell beautiful stories.

Learning Kathak has opened me to a whole new culture and tradition. Even the language - when I first started I was not familiar with Hindi. It was not easy at the start. But with the help of my tai (teacher) and friends, I began to understand and speak the language.

For me Performing on stage is the best part of learning to dance. Not only that but the days leading up to the performances are the best. The long hours of practice, although it’s tiring, with the right people around you it’s really fun and exciting. The day of the performance is the best - starting with the makeup and outfits to going on stage and performing for people. It gives me joy to see at the end, all the hard work it all pays off.” ~ Chelsea D’Souza



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