Basic Concepts In Modern Dance Essay

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Basic Concepts in Modern Dance by Gay Cheney Over the span of decades many have tried to define dance. The most simple of definitions I have come across refers to dance as nothing more than movement in art form. In Gay Cheney’s book he discusses how dance, like any other movement, “happens in space, uses up time, and requires energy.” He goes in depth and explains how each aspect of dance contributes to the makings of a great dancer and a great choreographer. The area one has to work in is considered the space. The size of the space may vary from a small room, a studio, a stage or any other place. The space affords the dancer with the opportunity to use their surroundings to their advantage and manipulate the movement accordingly. By using the body to the make a variety of shapes, one can change the way the space is perceived making it appear empty or full. Shape is defined as the “three-dimensional space of the total body” and is commonly referred to as positive space. Shapes are pivotal to dance because they serve as building blocks for movement and people use them to create ideas and images. Shapes are ever present because people are constantly going from one shape to the other or passing through them. You can create these shapes on your own as an individual or in groups, however it may challenge the audience’s eyes due to the greater amount of people. A dancer should be specific when constructing these shapes because at any given moment a photographer could take a snapshot and if you were aware and you executed the shape correctly, the photo should look like you were posing. Volume, concentrates on the negative or surrounding areas, is also another aspect of space. This kind of space has limits or boundaries, and these boundaries can be created by using props, the floor, or any part of the body. A dancer should always be aware of the fact that the space
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