Dance is a type of art that generally involves movement of the body, often rhythmic and to music. It is performed in many cultures as a form of emotional expression, social interaction, or exercise, in a spiritual or performance setting, and is sometimes used to express ideas or tell a story. Dance may also be regarded as a form of nonverbal communication between humans or other animals, as in bee dances and patterns such as mating dances. There are many styles and genres of dance. African dance is interpretative. Ballet, ballroom and tango are classical dance styles.
Square dance and electric slide are forms of step dance, and breakdancing is a type of street dance. Dance can be participatory, social, or performed for an audience. It can also be ceremonial, competitive or erotic. Dance movements may be without significance in them, as in ballet or European folk dance, or have a gestural vocabulary or symbolic meaning as in some Asian dances. Asian Dances The diverse cultural, religious and traditions of the Asian countries are reflected not only in their lifestyles, but also in their dances.
Each country in Asia has several indigenous and ethnic groups within its own country. These groups have their own unique identities and traditions, which are also visible in their dances. Hence, this created several dancing diversities for each country. IMPORTANCE – gymnastics-Keeps you sharp and focused -gym-to be flexible -Natural stress reliever-key to good health -Great confidence booster-fun social activity -skill that can always be used Dunhuang Dance China- Dunhuang Dance, a dance influenced by Buddhism and the images of Buddha, originated from the province of Gansu in West China.
Dunhuang and Silk Road- The ‘Silk Road’ connection had also made Dunhuang known worldwide for fresco paintings of the 4th – 14th century, many of which can be seen in over 1000 caves in the area. Ribbon Dance- You probably have seen and watched Chinese ribbon dance either on stage or on television. The ribbons were originally part of the dancer’s costume, but later became an integral component of the Dunhuang dance. Barongan Dance Indonesia- Barongan is a dance that has strong element of trance and worship, and originated from Central Java, Indonesia.
It spreads to neighboring Malaysia in a slightly different dance form and performed in the southern state of Johor. Joget Malaysia-Before the British ruled Malaya (old name for Malaysia), it was under the Portuguese and then the Dutch. Tinikling Dance Philippines- Tinikling Dance may be one of the oldest dances from the Philippines and is now considered to be the country’s national dance. This dance originated from Visayan Islands, one of the groups of island that comprises the Philippines. Bamboo Dance- The dance involves two people that will clap, tap and slide bamboo poles against each other.
One or more dancers will then step in between these bamboo poles in rhythmic movement, which will become faster as it progresses. Watch the accompanying video to see this dance. Khon Thailand- The influence of Brahminism and Hinduism are very prominent in some of the dances in Thailand and Khonis one of them. Khon is a masked dance-drama that tells the much beloved mythical stories in Thailand Apsara Dance Cambodia- Angkor, a region in Cambodia, was the seat of the powerful and influential Khmer Empire between 9th to 15th centuries.
Apsara- What you see Apsara today, is the results of these intensive studies. It is a dance-drama love story with graceful and fine hand movements to portray emotions and feelings. Bharatanatyam Dance India- Bharatanatyam dance is a classical dance from Tamil Nadu, South India and originally performed by maidens who dedicated themselves as temple dancers and musicians. Bharatanatyam Dance-The Bharatanatyam dance that you see now is no longer the original dance steps but based on the modern reinterpretation by the Thanjavoor brothers during the early 18th century.
Fan Dance Korea- Fan Dance from Korea originated and rise to prominence during the Joseon Dynasty (1392 until 1910), a period that saw the rise in art and culture, science, technology and trade in Korea. Bucheachum- This Fan Dance, also known as Bucheachum, is performed by women, with a breathtaking display of fan as its main feature. The fans come in an assortment of colors and patterns such as flowers and butterflies. The movements are displays of natural phenomena such as blooming flowers and natural sea waves. The choreography is also closely related to their religious beliefs.
Bon Odori Japan- One of the popular and famous Japanese dances is Bon Odori. It is a dance to welcome the ancestor’s soul and to express gratefulness to them. This is held during the Bon week, which is usually in August and celebrated in every city in Japan. Asian Dances in Danger- Asian dances are also in danger of moving in the direction of extinction.
UNESCO realized this problem and formed a special unit under the Intangible Cultural Heritage Program to revive and preserve heritage such as dance, songs, languages, etc. For article on the endangered Asian dances that received assistance from UNESCO, read ‘Preserving Asian Dance’.