Renaissance and the history of dancing

Listen to this page About this Collection A collection of over two hundred social dance manuals at the Library of Congress. Along with dance instruction manuals, this online presentation also includes a significant number of antidance manuals, histories, treatises on etiquette, and items from other conceptual categories.

Renaissance and the history of dancing

Enjoy the Famous Daily Dance and music It is unlikely that any human society at any rate until the invention of puritanism has denied itself the excitement and pleasure of dancing. Like cave paintingthe first purpose of dance is probably ritual - appeasing a nature spirit or accompanying a rite of passage.

But losing oneself in rhythmic movement with other people is an easy form of intoxication. Pleasure can never have been far away. Rhythm, indispensable in dancing, is also a basic element of music.

It is natural to beat out the rhythm of the dance with sticks.

Renaissance and the history of dancing

It is natural to accompany the movement of the dance with rhythmic chanting. Dance and music begin as partners in the service of ritual. Dance as ritual In most ancient civilizations, dancing before the god is an important element in temple ritual.

In Egypt the priests and priestesses, accompanied by harps and pipes, perform stately movements which mime significant events in the story of a god, or imitate cosmic patterns such as the rhythm of night and day.

At Egyptian funerals, women dance to express the grief of the mourners.

322 BC to 235 AD

Sacred occasions in Greek shrines, such as the games at Olympia from the 8th century BC, are inaugurated with dancing by the temple virgins.

The choros is originally just such a dance, performed in a circle in honour of a god. In the 6th century it becomes the centrepiece of Greek theatre. In India the formalized hand movements of the priestesses in Hindu temples are described in documents from as early as the 1st century AD.

Each precise gesture is of subtle significance. A form of classical dance based upon them - known as Bharata Nhatyam - is still performed by highly skilled practitioners today.

Dance as ecstasy Any sufficiently uninhibited society knows that frantic dancing, in a mood heightened by pounding rhythm and flowing alcohol, will set the pulse racing and induce a mood of frenzied exhilaration. This is exemplified in the Dionysiac dances of ancient Greece.

Villagers, after harvesting the grapes, celebrate the occasion with a drunken orgy in honour of Dionysus, god of wine whose Roman name is Bacchus. Their stomping makes a favourite scene on Greek vases; and dancing women of this kind, whose frenzy even sweeps them into an act of murder, are immortalized in a tragedy, the Bacchae, by Euripides.

Short of this unfortunate extreme, all social dances promise the same desirable mood of release and excitement. Dance as entertainment, dance as display Egyptian paintings, from as early as about BC, depict another eternal appeal of dancing. Scantily clad girls, accompanied by seated musicians, cavort enticingly on the walls of tombs.

They will delight the male occupant during his residence in the next world. But dancing girls are for this world too. From princely banquet to back-street strip club, they require no explanation.

Renaissance and the history of dancing

Entertainment, and the closely related theme of display, underlies the story of public dance. In the courts of Europe spectacles of this kind lead eventually to ballet.

In a significant step forward is taken by Catherine's director of court festivals, Baltazar de Beaujoyeulx. For a wedding celebration he produces the Balet Comique de la Reine, combining dance which he describes as being just "geometric patterns of people dancing together" with the narrative interest of a comedy.

It is the first dramatic ballet. This French and Italian love of dance continues in the next century. At the court of Savoy, in Turin, there is a strong tradition of lavish amateur ballets for any festive occasion in the midth century.

The king's typical roles include a wandering musician, a Dutch captain, a grotesque warrior, a farmer and a woman.

His son Louis XIV enjoys similar pleasures, but his roles have a little more classical gravitas - a Bacchante, a Titan, a Muse and presumably a favourite Apollo dressed as the sun.

The dancers in court ballets are the courtiers themselves, and a large part of the pleasure comes from watching one's friends prance about in spectacular costumes. But Louis XIV himself is genuinely interested in dancing, and in he decides that his colleagues are not up to scratch.

From professional dancers are trained. The institution settles down into what is recognizably a ballet company. The first director, Pierre Beauchamp, choreographs many ballet sequences with music by Lully and others - and he devises his own system for recording the steps.Video: Dance Music of the Renaissance: History and Forms Long before the Harlem shake, swing dancing and even the waltz, there was Renaissance-style dance music.

Back to History for Kids. The Renaissance was a period of time from the 14th to the 17th century in Europe.

This era bridged the time between the Middle Ages and modern times.

Take a time-travel adventure into the 16th century at the annual Michigan Renaissance Festival! Join our Queen Elizabeth in a jubilee! Inside our turreted gates, visitors enjoy the sights and sounds of a acre village, complete with building reproductions of Renaissance shops, taverns and a magnificent castle. A Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe (4th Edition) Apr 28, by Jonathan W. Zophy. Paperback. $ $ 29 32 to rent Prime. $ $ 96 95 to buy Prime. Svenine Travelling Gypsy Dancing Troupe Shirt in Plain Light Cotton Long Sleeve. by Svenine. $ - $ $ 17 $ 19 83 Prime. FREE Shipping on . A summary of Women in the Renaissance in 's Italian Renaissance (). Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Italian Renaissance () and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.

The word "Renaissance" means "rebirth". Coming out of the Dark. Throughout the history of dance, many interesting facts marked this activity as one of the most useful tools for visual expression, exercise, social interaction, celebration and religion. Here you can find out more information about fascinating facts of dance.

Harlem, to , an African American Community The Schomburg Center at the New York Public Library has prepared an outstanding online exhibit on the Harlem Renaissance. Dances of the Early Renaissance (15th Century) As the arts and sciences flourished in the European Renaissance, dance quickly rose to preeminence.

HISTORY OF THE RENAISSANCE including The word Renaissance, Petrarch the Laureate, Petrarch, Boccaccio and humanism, Roman and italic.

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