Arts apps Folk Dance

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Arts apps Folk Dance

  1. 1. Folk dance is a form of dance developed by a group of people that reflects the traditional life of the people of a certain country or region. Folk dancing originated in the 18th century to distinguish dance forms of common people from those of the upper classes. Folk dances, unlike most other dance forms, tend to have no stringent rules, and are sometimes formed spontaneously among groups of people. The steps of folk dances are passed through generations, rarely being changed. Folk dancing is usually associated with social activities, although some folk dances are performed competitively.
  2. 2. The history of folk dance dates back several centuries, though very little detail is known about its origins. While nobody is really sure what folk dancing looked like two thousand years ago, historians are confident that it already existed at that time. Because folk dances are highly traditional and are taught through the generations, the evolution of the genre has been slow as various cultural groups preserve their inventories of cultural dances. Cultural dances came into being with a social function, weaving recreation into celebrations and important agricultural events. While many groups perform folk dances onstage today, the genesis of folk dancing right up through the middle of the 20th century was non-performative for the most part. Although exotic dancing became popular in Europe during the late 1800s and early 1900s, the artists who performed folk dances from their own culture on stages in Paris and London had removed the social aspect from the genre. In addition to the social nature of the dance, special costumes were often present. In costuming, as well as the musical rhythms that dictated the various cultural dances, the evidence of a deep, slowly evolving cultural tradition is evident. Due to the isolated nature of the world's regions up until the last century, many different forms of folk dancing evolved in different regions of the world. Folk dancing from India looks very different from folk dancing from Mexico, but it is all under the umbrella term of folk dancing because it is social in nature and it is steeped in tradition instead of a culture of innovation.
  3. 3. Latin American Folk Dance - With influences from native cultures and European and African immigrants, Latin American dances were diverse from the outset. While the native dances of the Peruvians and the Brazilians were pure in style, the folk dances that we now recognize from the region are all representative of merged styling. The Samba has African influences while Mexican dances were influenced by Spanish rhythms and movement styles. Since the 1900s, many folk dances from this region have evolved into social dances with a performative goal, such as the Samba. British Folk Dance - In Great Britain many forms of dancing have developed over the years and still enjoy a considerable presence in the modern dance world. Clogging - Similar to tap dancing, clogging started in Wales and migrated to England in the 15th century. While the Welsh and English versions are stylistically different, and both different from Irish hard shoe dance, American clogging and American tap dancing, many parallels exist. Clogging started out as a fairly unrefined dance form (it was actually called 'flat-footing' and 'stomping' by many) and has evolved to include an inventory of steps that require more precise movements and generate complex rhythms.
  4. 4. Maypole - Often danced on May Day in England, the Maypole dance is also sometimes taught in American elementary schools. The maypole itself is a tall pole decorated with floral garlands, flags and streamers. Ribbons are then attached to the pole or to a smaller one, and everyone grabs one as they begin to dance around. The dance is especially popular with children. Irish Dance - Folk dance history's most up to date accomplishment is found in Irish step dancing, which was made popular in the mid 1990s by live performances such as Riverdance. While the choreography dates far back in time, dance enthusiasts go wild for its modern counterpart, and we often visualize children in traditional Irish dress rhythmically stomping their feet whenever we think of folk dance. Eastern Folk Dance - In the Middle and Far East several different types of cultural dancing have evolved. From Korean sword dancing to Iranian cultural dances, this vast region also has a rich variety of folk dancing.
  5. 5. Persian Dance - Traditional Persian or Iranian music started developing soon after the year 0 and became the basis for several musical schools, and therefore movement schools. Early Iranian music can be divided into the Baghdad and the Cordoba traditions, which each developed their own distinct dances. The Cordoba style traveled to Europe (Spain) and laid the basis for flamenco dancing among other traditions. In various regions of Persia different styles formed, such as the Kurdish line dances and the Qashqai scarf dances. Historical records are largely absent regarding the timeline of these dances' development because of the questionable position that dancing held in many of the societies where they originated. Bhangra Dance - In Southeast Asia, a region called Punjab is the source of the various styles of Bhangra dance. Different styles evolved in different regions, but they are all folk dances in nature in that they are social, costuming is traditional, and the steps get passed down with only minor modifications through the generations. Characterized by brightly-colored festive clothing and groups of men and women with their own styles and steps, Bhangra dances developed as an important cultural element in Southeast Asia. Common Ground - Folk dancing developed in multiple areas of the world in parallel, and folk dancing from Korea looks nothing like folk dancing from Brazil. What all these dance traditions have in common is that they express the cultural values and traditions of the region where they originated, and they serve an important artistic and social function for the people from those same regions. Because of the historical viewpoint, the focus is on preserving traditions instead of breaking free from them. For this reason folk dancing offers a unique opportunity to look back in time and dancing history, cultivating appreciation and artistry along the way.
  6. 6. Philippine folk dance has a long and diverse history. Each region in the Philippines features its own folk dances, originating from the pre-colonial era to the time of the Spanish occupation from the 1500s until the late 1800s. Most of these Filipino folk dances tell stories about historical happenings, ways of life, cultural influences and religious customs.
  7. 7. Pre-Hispanic Times Long before the Spaniards came to the Philippines, the indigenous people who mostly lived in the mountainous regions used folk dances in cultural celebrations, worships and rituals. They used music and dance to connect with the gods, appease their ancestors, pray for bountiful harvests and favorable weather, ask for healing, seek guidance during wars and ward off bad luck and natural calamities. They also danced to socialize and to express their feelings. Most of the mountain tribes from the northern part of the Philippines have carefully preserved their folk dances. The "Dinuyya" of the Ifugaos is a dance originating from the Cordilleras. It is regularly staged during festivals in Lagawe, Mountain Province. The Ibaloi also perform the popular regional dance called the "Bendiyan," which involves hundreds of male and female dancers performing in rituals.
  8. 8. Northern Luzon Luzon is the northern island of the Philippines, mainly composed of the Ilocos region in the north and the Tagalog region in the south. The people in Ilocos are called Ilocanos and the provinces within the region include Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Mountain Province, Abra, Ifugao, La Union and Pangasinan. Most of the folk dances here are mixtures of indigenous and Spanish elements and are usually performed during special occasions such as weddings and fiestas. The "Sakuting" dance from Abra interprets a mock fight between Christians and non-Christians using fighting sticks. The "Binasuan" dance of Pangasinan involves dancers displaying impressive balance, graceful movements and unusual dance skills as each dancer uses three glasses each half-filled with water or rice wine and placed on top of the head and on the palm of each hand. They execute fast turns, sitting and rolling on the floor without spilling the contents in each "baso," or "glass."
  9. 9. Southern Tagalog The Tagalogs form the southern part of the Luzon island, which is also home to the country's capital, Manila. Even during the Spanish times, the major government centers have been located here. So most of the dances in the region reflect Spanish and European influences. Originating from Lubang Island, Mindoro, the "Pandango Sa Ilaw" comes from the Spanish dance "fandango" and is characterized by lively steps while balancing three oil lamps each on the head and on the back of each hand. Performed by men wearing coconut shells attached on their chests, backs, thighs and hips, the "Maglalatik" of Binan, Laguna is a mock war dance demonstrating the fight between the "Moros" and the Christians over a prized coconut meat called "latik." The "Bulaklakan" dance comes from the word "bulaklak," which means "flower." It is performed every May; dancing girls each hold an arched garland of leaves and flowers attached to a wire, bamboo or rattan.
  10. 10. Visayan Dances Visayas is the central part of the Philippine archipelago. Visayan dances mostly tell stories of people's lives and frequently draw inspirations from animal movements. The Philippines' national dance is the "Tinikling," from the province of Leyte. This dance originates from the word "Tikling," a native bird with long legs and long neck. The dance imitates the bird's movements as it walks between grass stems or runs over tree branches. Dancers perform between a series of bamboo poles while keeping their feet from being caught between the opening and closing movements of the bamboos. Performed using a moderate waltz style, the "Kuratsa" from Bohol tells the story of a young playful couple's attempts to get each other's attention. The "Itik-itik" tells the story of a young woman in Surigao del Norte who begins to improvise her dance steps by imitating the movements of an "itik" which means "duck." Her unusual steps and fascinating interpretation becomes famous in her hometown. The "Inalimanggo" in Panay and Capiz portrays the mud crab's movements translated into dance form.
  11. 11. Muslim and Moro Dances Unlike the northern and central parts of the Philippines, which are mainly occupied by Christians, the Mindanao region in the southern part of the Philippines is a Muslim region never conquered by the Spaniards. Islam was introduced in this area during the 12th century. The Muslims in Mindanao are also known as "Moros." These dances are of both pre-Muslim and Muslim origins. Dancers typically wear alluring and colorful costumes decorated with jewels, swords and shields. The "Ipat" dance is used to appease the ancestral spirits. The "Baluang" creates the illusion of an angry monkey as performed by male dancers. The "Singkil" is a royal dance telling the story of a Muslim princess who got caught in the middle of a forest during an earthquake caused by the "diwatas," meaning "fairies."

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