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The use of dance in ecstatic trance states and healing rituals (as observed today in many contemporary "primitive" cultures, from the Brazilian rainforest to the Kalahari Desert) is thought to have been another early factor in the social development of dance.

It mainly deals with drama, in which dance plays an important part in Indian culture.

It categorizes dance into four types - secular, ritual, abstract, and, interpretive - and into four regional varieties.

Notable examples of traditional dance/music couplings include the jig, waltz, tango, disco, and salsa.

Some musical genres have a parallel dance form such as baroque music and baroque dance; other varieties of dance and music may share nomenclature but developed separately, such as classical music and classical ballet.

Even a solo dance may be undertaken solely for the satisfaction of the dancer.

Participatory dancers often all employ the same movements and steps but, for example, in the rave culture of electronic dance music, vast crowds may engage in free dance, uncoordinated with those around them.

During the first millennium BCE in India, many texts were composed which attempted to codify aspects of daily life.

Bharata Muni's Natyashastra (literally "the text of dramaturgy") is one of the earlier texts.

Dance can be categorized and described by its choreography, by its repertoire of movements, or by its historical period or place of origin.

An important distinction is to be drawn between the contexts of theatrical and participatory dance, although these two categories are not always completely separate; both may have special functions, whether social, ceremonial, competitive, erotic, martial, or sacred/liturgical.

Most classical forms are centred upon dance alone, but performance dance may also appear in opera and other forms of musical theatre.

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