Gonyea1 Jovi Gonyea British Literature Tillery Dance and Choreography “Dance; the movement of the body in a rhythmic way, usually to music and withina given space, for the purpose of expressing an idea or emotion, releasing energy, orsimply taking delight in the movement itself.” The rich history and expressive form ofdance is not to be ignored and with help from popular Music Television networkslikeMTV, public video sharing via Youtube, and organized groups the public has beenexposed to the world of dance and choreography exclusively in the past three decadesdance, and has become a rapidly expanding topic of public interest.As a result of thispeak in interest professional dance and choreography have become a high-grossing andbooming industry everywhere from public and private schools to Hollywood. Dance has had an integral part in the history of music, the arts, and that ofmankind. It first arrived in many of the first tribes and civilizations to emerge fromhumanity as ways to praise their idols and gods in sacrifice and ritual. The dancesthemselves passed down from generation to generation barely changing unless contactedby an outside force or civilization. However dance originated many forms of dances werecreated with the intent of group performance.
Gonyea2 Under the research of JohnatganPieslak it was discovered that some ancestralmilitary units used loud group singing and dancing to prepare for an engagement withsome enemy force or dangerous combat missions. Since then dancers have performed ina variety of stage atmospheres including: Opera, Musical Theater, and even publicdomains which has led to the development of dance and choreographic studies in theform of Academic Discipline in recent centuries. This started in the early 1920’s differentwith the academic courses and fields of study including; Dance Practice, Critical Theory,Musical analysis, as well as the History of Dance, and by the late twentieth centurywiththe recognition of the practical knowledge of dance. However the vast knowledgeneeded for success in such a career has not hindered newer generations. While even the most amateur of dancers can rise to the challenge of professionaldancer or choreographer there are still some restrictions. For example, to stand out abovethe completion most dancers start at an early age, typically between five and fifteen yearsold, and experience their first professional audition by age seventeen or eighteen. Thetraining leading up to that point in time varies among dancers with not only the type ofdance, but also by the styles and complexities. The more accepted approach to dance isballet, in which they learn the basics of rhythm in accordance to music, and the disciplineand self-control needed to succeed. In contrast, once they reach their teen years the training is increased to a muchhigher level of understanding and technique usually implying; eight hours a day in classtime and rehearsal, and physical condition to keep their bodies in peak condition.Dancers
Gonyea3also must have good health and physical stamina, along with flexibility, agility, a feelingfor music, and a creative ability to express themselves through movement. Reason forthis amplified training and extreme attention to detail is due to the nature of the danceenvironment. Dance in itself is strenuous, most performers in musical productions andother family entertainment spend much of their time on the road; others work innightclubs or on cruise ships. Most dance performances are in the evening, whereasrehearsals and practice usually take place during the day. As a result, dancers often workvery long and late hours and statistically suffer higher rates of nonfatal on-the-job injuriesthan any other occupation. This work, however, is short lived in that most professional dancers retire from theperformance circuit by their late thirties. Nonetheless, some continue to work in the fieldas choreographers, artistic directors, and dance teachers and coaches, while a smallnumber may move into administrative positions, such as company managers. While dance and choreography coincide with each other the demands of achoreographer are more on an educational level. The job of a choreographer is to produceoriginal works of their creation or develop a new interpretation of an existing work. Thisrequires that additional education in the dance field in which they hone the skillsnecessary to instruct performers at rehearsal to achieve the exact technique.Choreographers also work with performers other than dancers for example: the complexmartial arts scenes in movies are arranged by choreographers who specialize in themartial arts. Choreographers also may help coordinate costume design and lighting, as
Gonyea4well as choose the music and sound effects that convey the intended message.Employment however is another matter. Due to the majority of modern society enjoying dance and dreaming to make theircareers in dance, dancers and choreographers face strong competition for opportunities.Although it is certain job openings will arise each year due to dancer and choreographerretirement, the number of applicants will continue to exceed the number of offers.National dance companies, such as Dance USA, likely will continue to provide jobs inthis field, as well as opera companies and dance groups affiliated with television andmotion pictures. The growing popularity of dance for fitness purposes has resulted in increasedopportunities to teach dance, especially for a more active middle-age and youngergeneration. Musicians will also provide a small number of openings for both dancers andchoreographers, and individuals expecting to make the cut are to face keen competition. Aside from the competition on and off the dance floor, dances and choreographersall focus around one key idea. Expression is the basic, timeless, and all-encompassingforce that binds dancers and music together as one. Part of the reason is has become soaccepted in society is that It allows an individual to freely and openly express theiremotions in the form of choreographed movement for an audience that is to take a certainmeaning from it. And with raging success all over the world it’s no surprise that danceand choreograph are topics of serious discussion.
Gonyea5 In conclusion, dance and choreography, behind the preconceptions of society, is avery serious and integral part of the world today. It has shaped mankind’s development asa species and the cultures of the modern world since the very dawn of civilization to themodern era. And with the help of the media and individuals across the globe both willcontinue to weave its way deeper into society changing life for better and worse.