Cultural Awareness Through Dance
There are so many cultures around the world. If we wanted to learn about any of them, the Internet has an easy access key to all of it. However, dance can provide a more personal understanding of a culture and its traditions.
Discovering A Culture Through Its Dance Traditions
Miriam Phillips, Assistant Professor of Dance in the UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS), believes that dance, because it is a personal physical experience, can instill comprehension of an entire culture. The oppressed Andalusian people, including the Gypsies, who were socially and economically marginalized for centuries, channeled their emotional frustrations into the proud, passionate dance style known as flamenco.
Dance Is A Physical Manifestation Of Culture
A great deal of a culture’s history and traditions is encapsulated in their dances. The movements they use and the music are meant to tell a story to the rest of the world – a story about their beliefs, the environment, their economy, or even their social values.
A Million Stories Told Through Dance
Dancers from every culture use their bodies to paint a picture. They showcase their heritage through their movements. West African dances, for example, are usually performed barefoot, with bent knees and a forward-inclined torso. That body language is meant to tell us their culture has a strong connection with earth and nature. Indian folk dances tend to be simple and are meant to express joy, while Indian classical dances are usually done as a form of meditation and worship. Samba is thought to have gotten its name from the Kimbundu term “semba,” which means “invitation to dance,” and it also refers to the dance parties that slaves and former slaves had in certain rural areas of Rio.
We’re a Denver-based world dance company that strives to bring culturally authentic forms of dance to share with Denver community. We provide unique performance opportunities for our students while they learn of the wonderful cultural richness of different parts of the world where these dances emerged. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit another culture through dance.