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Dances of Singapore.
A comparative study.
contents
•Introduction
•Glimpse of Singapore
•Chinese Lion Dance
•Ballet
•Bhangswam
•Saman
•Tap
•Bharatnatyam
•Glimpse of India
•Conclusion
Contents
Introduction
INTRODUCTION
Dance in India comprises the varied styles of dances in the country. As with
other aspects of Indian culture, different forms of dances originated in different
parts of India, developed according to the local traditions and also imbibed
elements from other parts of the country.
Sangeet Natak Akademi, the national academy for performing arts, recognizes
eight distinctive traditional dances as Indian classical dances, which might
have origin in religious activities of distant past.
Folk dances are numerous in number and style, and vary according to the local
tradition of the respective state, ethnic or geographic regions. Contemporary
dances include refined and experimental fusions of classical, folk and Western
forms. Dancing traditions of India have influence not only over the dances in the
whole of South Asia, but on the dancing forms of Southeast Asia as well
Dance in Singapore comprises traditional and contemporary forms. It has a relatively
short history of creative, artistic and professional dance. The range of dance reflects
the cultural diversity of Singapore. There is a consistent struggle between the
rejection and acceptance of western dance influences and the re-emphasis of ethnic
cultures from time to time. The Singapore identity through dance is a challenging one
often on an outward looking perception rather than the acceptance and recognition of
indigenous/original creativity. Notable non-profit artistic dance legacy
include ECNAD and Arts Fission Company.
Over the last ten years, there has been an emergence of several visual and
performing arts groups in Singapore with local and international companies offering
both traditional as well as modern performances. There are several well established
arts groups, which include the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese
Orchestra, Singapore Dance Theatre, Singapore Lyric Opera, Singapore
Repertory Theatre and Theatre Works.
The annual Singapore Arts Festival has become extremely popular and allows
international and local artists to perform in a wide variety of events including music,
dance and theatre.
A glimpse into the diverse lands of Singaporean dance
Here we have some of the most popular performing arts in Singapore
Chinese Lion Dance
The Chinese in Singapore believe that the lion brings
forth good fortune. The lion dance is usually
performed on occasions such as the opening of
buildings and during the Chinese New Year festival.
There are two main forms of the Chinese lion dance,
the Northern Lion and the Southern Lion
FACT:
The Chinese lion dance is often mistakenly
referred to as dragon dance. An easy way to tell
the difference is that a lion is normally operated
by two dancers, while a dragon needs many
people. Also, in a lion dance, the performers'
faces are only seen occasionally, since they are
inside the lion. In a dragon dance, the
performers' faces can be easily seen since the
dragon is held on poles.
BALLET
Ballet is a type of performance
dance that originated in the Italian
Renaissance courts of the 15th century
and later developed into concert
dance form in France and Russia. It has
since become a widespread, highly
technical form of dance with its
own vocabulary based on French
terminology. It has been globally
influential and has defined the
foundational techniques used in many
other dance genres. Ballet requires
years of training to learn and master,
and much practice to retain proficiency.
It has been taught in ballet schools
around the world, which have
historically used their own cultures to
evolve the art.
The Singapore Dance
Theatre is Singapore's national dance
company, founded in 1988 by the late
Anthony Then and Goh Soo Khim. It made
its debut in June 1988 at the Singapore
Festival of The Arts and received its first
arts patronage by the then-Deputy Prime
Minister, Mr Ong Teng Cheong.
Its humble beginnings started with a
group of seven ballet dancers in a modest
dance studio on the second storey of a
creaky colonial bungalow on Killiney
Road. This studio space was shared by the
Singapore Ballet Academy and the SDT's
dancers could only train in between the
Academy's rehearsal schedules on normal
days
Bangsawan
This is form of Malay
opera that usually
depicts Malay myths or
tales of love and
treachery in the form of
dance.
Saman(or dance of thousand
hands) is one of the most popular
dances in Indonesia. Its origin is
from the Gayo ethnic group
fromGayo Lues and is normally
performed to celebrate important
occasions. The dance is
characterized by its fast-paced
rhythm and common harmony
between dancers. These two
elements are key figures of Saman,
and are among the reasons Saman
are widely known and practiced in
Indonesia, beside being relatively
easy to learn.
The dance is done by a group of
people forming a line accompanied
by a music player. Originally, the
group was exclusively male, but it is
now more common to see female
Saman dancers.
Tap danceis a form of dance characterized by using the
sound of one's tap shoes hitting the floor (or other surfaces) as
a percussive instrument. As such, it is also commonly
considered to be a form of music. Two major variations on tap
dance exist: rhythm (Jazz) tap and Broadway tap. Broadway tap
focuses more on the dance. It is widely performed as a part of
musical theater. Rhythm tap focuses more on musicality, and
practitioners consider themselves to be a part of
the Jazz tradition.
The sound is made by shoes with a metal "tap" on the heel and
toe. Tap shoes can be bought at most dance shops. There are
different brands of shoes which sometimes differ in the way
they sound.
Bharatanatyam
This old classical dance originates from India
and is a combination of music, expression
and rhythm accompanied by graceful and
statuesque poses.
A glimpse into the world of rich and ethnic cultural dances of Bharat, India.
Here’s a few of the most prominent , well known dances
Bharatanatyam
Dating back to 1000 BCE, Bharatanatyam is a classical dance
from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, practiced
predominantly in modern times by women. The dance is
usually accompanied by classical Carnatic music. Its
inspirations come from the sculptures of the ancient temple of
Chidambaram. It was codified and documented as a
performing art in the 19th century by four brothers known as
the Thanjavur Quartet whose musical compositions for dance
form the bulk of the Bharatanatya repertoire even today.
Kathakali
Kathakali (katha, “story”; kali, “performance”) is a highly
stylized classical dance-drama form which originated
from Kerala in the 17th century. This classical dance form is
particularly noticed for dancer's elaborate costume, towering
head gear, billowing skirts, and long silver nails. Recent
developments in Kathakali over the years include improved
looks, refined gestures and added themes besides more
ornate singing and precise drumming. Kathakali is performed
regularly at festivals in temples, at cultural shows for
connoisseurs and also at international events, occasionally in
fusion dance experiments.
Kathak
Originating from north Indian states,
in ancient Indian temples Brahmin
priests (pandits) used to narrate the
stories of gods and goddesses
through dance, they were known as
((kathakar)) and the dance came to
be known as "kathak". Kathak traces
its origins to the nomadic bards of
ancient northern India, known
as Kathaks, or storytellers.] Its form
today contains traces of temple and
ritual dances, and the influence of
the bhakti movement. From the
16th century onwards it absorbed
certain features of Persian
dance and Central Asian dance
which were imported by the royal
courts of the Mughal era. There are
three major schools or gharanas of
Kathak from which performers today
generally draw their lineage: the
gharanas
of Benares, Jaipur and Lucknow.
Kuchipudi
Dating back to 2nd century BCE it is a classical dance from the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
Kuchipudi is the name of a village in the Divi Taluka of Krishna district that borders the Bay of Bengal and
with resident Brahmins practicing this traditional dance form, it acquired the present name. The
performance usually begins with some stage rites, after which each of the character comes on to the stage
and introduces him/herself with a dharavu (a small composition of both song and dance) to introduce the
identity, set the mood, of the characdter in the drama. The drama then begins. The dance is accompanied
by song which is typically Carnatic music. The singer is accompanied by mridangam, violin, flute and
the tambura. Ornaments worn by the artists are generally made of a light weight wood called Boorugu
Sattriya
Sattriya, or Sattriya Nritya (Assamese: সত্ৰীয়া নৃত্), is one among eight principal classical Indian dance
traditions. Where as some of the other traditions have been revived in the recent past, Sattriya has
remained a living tradition since its creation by the founder of Vaishnavism in Assam, the great
saint Srimanta Sankardeva, in 15th century Assam. Satriya dance performance at Guwahati Rabindra
Bhawan
Sankardeva created Sattriya Nritya as an accompaniment to the Ankia Naat (a form of Assamese one-act
plays devised by him), which were usually performed in the sattras, as Assam's monasteries are called. As
the tradition developed and grew within the sattras, the dance form came to be called Sattriya Nritya.
Today, although Sattriya Nritya has emerged from within the confines of the sattras to a much wider
recognition, the sattras continue to use the dance form for ritualistic and other purposes for which it was
originally created circa 500 years ago.It also has recently become one of the Indian Classical Dances.
Conclusion
Singapore may be a young nation but it has a rich multi-cultural dance heritage that
stems from the diverse ethnic and racial groups that make up the population. Traditional
dances of Singapore usually refer to popular forms of Chinese, Malay and Indian dances
with roots originating from their fore-father’s homelands. With roots in Indonesia and
Malaysia, dominant traditional Malay dances include the mesmerizing Joget, Asli and
Zapin. Besides the revered and popular Indian traditional Bharatanatyam, Bhangra (a
song-music-dance tradition from Punjabi) is also fast gaining popularity in Singapore.
Tourists can also enjoy traditional Chinese dances which are usually a fusion of various
elements from ethnic Chinese folk dances, ballet, modern dance and Chinese martial arts
in Singapore. Budding dancers may seek out various dance associations and studios
located around Singapore to learn some moves before moving on to their next
destination. Last by not least, the extremely popular annual Chingay Parade and the
Singapore Arts Festival will also showcase a stunning array of vibrant traditional dances
along with contemporary dances, so don’t miss them!

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Presentation1

  • 1. Dances of Singapore. A comparative study.
  • 2. contents •Introduction •Glimpse of Singapore •Chinese Lion Dance •Ballet •Bhangswam •Saman •Tap •Bharatnatyam •Glimpse of India •Conclusion Contents
  • 3. Introduction INTRODUCTION Dance in India comprises the varied styles of dances in the country. As with other aspects of Indian culture, different forms of dances originated in different parts of India, developed according to the local traditions and also imbibed elements from other parts of the country. Sangeet Natak Akademi, the national academy for performing arts, recognizes eight distinctive traditional dances as Indian classical dances, which might have origin in religious activities of distant past. Folk dances are numerous in number and style, and vary according to the local tradition of the respective state, ethnic or geographic regions. Contemporary dances include refined and experimental fusions of classical, folk and Western forms. Dancing traditions of India have influence not only over the dances in the whole of South Asia, but on the dancing forms of Southeast Asia as well
  • 4. Dance in Singapore comprises traditional and contemporary forms. It has a relatively short history of creative, artistic and professional dance. The range of dance reflects the cultural diversity of Singapore. There is a consistent struggle between the rejection and acceptance of western dance influences and the re-emphasis of ethnic cultures from time to time. The Singapore identity through dance is a challenging one often on an outward looking perception rather than the acceptance and recognition of indigenous/original creativity. Notable non-profit artistic dance legacy include ECNAD and Arts Fission Company. Over the last ten years, there has been an emergence of several visual and performing arts groups in Singapore with local and international companies offering both traditional as well as modern performances. There are several well established arts groups, which include the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Singapore Dance Theatre, Singapore Lyric Opera, Singapore Repertory Theatre and Theatre Works. The annual Singapore Arts Festival has become extremely popular and allows international and local artists to perform in a wide variety of events including music, dance and theatre.
  • 5. A glimpse into the diverse lands of Singaporean dance Here we have some of the most popular performing arts in Singapore
  • 6. Chinese Lion Dance The Chinese in Singapore believe that the lion brings forth good fortune. The lion dance is usually performed on occasions such as the opening of buildings and during the Chinese New Year festival. There are two main forms of the Chinese lion dance, the Northern Lion and the Southern Lion FACT: The Chinese lion dance is often mistakenly referred to as dragon dance. An easy way to tell the difference is that a lion is normally operated by two dancers, while a dragon needs many people. Also, in a lion dance, the performers' faces are only seen occasionally, since they are inside the lion. In a dragon dance, the performers' faces can be easily seen since the dragon is held on poles.
  • 7. BALLET Ballet is a type of performance dance that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century and later developed into concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread, highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary based on French terminology. It has been globally influential and has defined the foundational techniques used in many other dance genres. Ballet requires years of training to learn and master, and much practice to retain proficiency. It has been taught in ballet schools around the world, which have historically used their own cultures to evolve the art. The Singapore Dance Theatre is Singapore's national dance company, founded in 1988 by the late Anthony Then and Goh Soo Khim. It made its debut in June 1988 at the Singapore Festival of The Arts and received its first arts patronage by the then-Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Ong Teng Cheong. Its humble beginnings started with a group of seven ballet dancers in a modest dance studio on the second storey of a creaky colonial bungalow on Killiney Road. This studio space was shared by the Singapore Ballet Academy and the SDT's dancers could only train in between the Academy's rehearsal schedules on normal days
  • 8. Bangsawan This is form of Malay opera that usually depicts Malay myths or tales of love and treachery in the form of dance.
  • 9. Saman(or dance of thousand hands) is one of the most popular dances in Indonesia. Its origin is from the Gayo ethnic group fromGayo Lues and is normally performed to celebrate important occasions. The dance is characterized by its fast-paced rhythm and common harmony between dancers. These two elements are key figures of Saman, and are among the reasons Saman are widely known and practiced in Indonesia, beside being relatively easy to learn. The dance is done by a group of people forming a line accompanied by a music player. Originally, the group was exclusively male, but it is now more common to see female Saman dancers.
  • 10. Tap danceis a form of dance characterized by using the sound of one's tap shoes hitting the floor (or other surfaces) as a percussive instrument. As such, it is also commonly considered to be a form of music. Two major variations on tap dance exist: rhythm (Jazz) tap and Broadway tap. Broadway tap focuses more on the dance. It is widely performed as a part of musical theater. Rhythm tap focuses more on musicality, and practitioners consider themselves to be a part of the Jazz tradition. The sound is made by shoes with a metal "tap" on the heel and toe. Tap shoes can be bought at most dance shops. There are different brands of shoes which sometimes differ in the way they sound.
  • 11. Bharatanatyam This old classical dance originates from India and is a combination of music, expression and rhythm accompanied by graceful and statuesque poses.
  • 12. A glimpse into the world of rich and ethnic cultural dances of Bharat, India. Here’s a few of the most prominent , well known dances
  • 13. Bharatanatyam Dating back to 1000 BCE, Bharatanatyam is a classical dance from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, practiced predominantly in modern times by women. The dance is usually accompanied by classical Carnatic music. Its inspirations come from the sculptures of the ancient temple of Chidambaram. It was codified and documented as a performing art in the 19th century by four brothers known as the Thanjavur Quartet whose musical compositions for dance form the bulk of the Bharatanatya repertoire even today. Kathakali Kathakali (katha, “story”; kali, “performance”) is a highly stylized classical dance-drama form which originated from Kerala in the 17th century. This classical dance form is particularly noticed for dancer's elaborate costume, towering head gear, billowing skirts, and long silver nails. Recent developments in Kathakali over the years include improved looks, refined gestures and added themes besides more ornate singing and precise drumming. Kathakali is performed regularly at festivals in temples, at cultural shows for connoisseurs and also at international events, occasionally in fusion dance experiments. Kathak Originating from north Indian states, in ancient Indian temples Brahmin priests (pandits) used to narrate the stories of gods and goddesses through dance, they were known as ((kathakar)) and the dance came to be known as "kathak". Kathak traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks, or storytellers.] Its form today contains traces of temple and ritual dances, and the influence of the bhakti movement. From the 16th century onwards it absorbed certain features of Persian dance and Central Asian dance which were imported by the royal courts of the Mughal era. There are three major schools or gharanas of Kathak from which performers today generally draw their lineage: the gharanas of Benares, Jaipur and Lucknow.
  • 14. Kuchipudi Dating back to 2nd century BCE it is a classical dance from the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Kuchipudi is the name of a village in the Divi Taluka of Krishna district that borders the Bay of Bengal and with resident Brahmins practicing this traditional dance form, it acquired the present name. The performance usually begins with some stage rites, after which each of the character comes on to the stage and introduces him/herself with a dharavu (a small composition of both song and dance) to introduce the identity, set the mood, of the characdter in the drama. The drama then begins. The dance is accompanied by song which is typically Carnatic music. The singer is accompanied by mridangam, violin, flute and the tambura. Ornaments worn by the artists are generally made of a light weight wood called Boorugu Sattriya Sattriya, or Sattriya Nritya (Assamese: সত্ৰীয়া নৃত্), is one among eight principal classical Indian dance traditions. Where as some of the other traditions have been revived in the recent past, Sattriya has remained a living tradition since its creation by the founder of Vaishnavism in Assam, the great saint Srimanta Sankardeva, in 15th century Assam. Satriya dance performance at Guwahati Rabindra Bhawan Sankardeva created Sattriya Nritya as an accompaniment to the Ankia Naat (a form of Assamese one-act plays devised by him), which were usually performed in the sattras, as Assam's monasteries are called. As the tradition developed and grew within the sattras, the dance form came to be called Sattriya Nritya. Today, although Sattriya Nritya has emerged from within the confines of the sattras to a much wider recognition, the sattras continue to use the dance form for ritualistic and other purposes for which it was originally created circa 500 years ago.It also has recently become one of the Indian Classical Dances.
  • 15. Conclusion Singapore may be a young nation but it has a rich multi-cultural dance heritage that stems from the diverse ethnic and racial groups that make up the population. Traditional dances of Singapore usually refer to popular forms of Chinese, Malay and Indian dances with roots originating from their fore-father’s homelands. With roots in Indonesia and Malaysia, dominant traditional Malay dances include the mesmerizing Joget, Asli and Zapin. Besides the revered and popular Indian traditional Bharatanatyam, Bhangra (a song-music-dance tradition from Punjabi) is also fast gaining popularity in Singapore. Tourists can also enjoy traditional Chinese dances which are usually a fusion of various elements from ethnic Chinese folk dances, ballet, modern dance and Chinese martial arts in Singapore. Budding dancers may seek out various dance associations and studios located around Singapore to learn some moves before moving on to their next destination. Last by not least, the extremely popular annual Chingay Parade and the Singapore Arts Festival will also showcase a stunning array of vibrant traditional dances along with contemporary dances, so don’t miss them!