Dance inspired jewellery
This post features Dance inspired jewellery including the history of dance. Social dance, a dance-form with roots in traditional and community dances which became increasingly differentiated from court dances during the later medieval and early Renaissance period. In the early 20th century ballroom dances proliferated, with jazz influences from North America and imports from Latin America, such as the tango, samba, cue-ca, and rumba. In the 1920s ‘animal dances’, such as the turkey trot, the bunny hug, and the foxtrot were popular: the latter remains as a classic ballroom dance alongside the quickstep and, from earlier times, the waltz. The Lindy hop, jitterbug, and jive were all highly athletic couple dances from the big band era of the 1930s and 1940s. The 1950s and 1960s rock and roll impact on teenage culture and the growth of discos and clubs generated an alternative social scene. The 1970s influences were Afro-Caribbean music and heavy rock. Distinct dance styles, ‘body popping’, ‘robotics’, and ‘break dancing’ emerged. In turn these reappear as source material in modern and postmodern dances.
Charleston, a US ballroom dance of the 1920s, said to have originated among blacks in Charleston, South Carolina. It was in fast 4/4 time, with a characteristic syncopated ragtime rhythm and involved side kicking and swinging movements of the body.
Jazz dance, a popular form of North American vernacular dancing performed to jazz music. During the early decades of the 20th century African and Caribbean dance elements were incorporated into White dancing in musical shows. Early forms such as the Charleston used the bent knees, swinging hips, and isolated shoulder and torso movements associated with African dance but in a Westernized version.
In common with jazz music, the elements of jazz dance are difficult to disentangle, partly because of their improvisational character. Balletic and modern dance movements also appear in later forms, but there now seem to be two, often conflated, versions: African jazz dance (which remains as true as possible to its African elements), and North American jazz dance (which borrows from existing Western theater forms).
Jazz dance is highly popular at a participatory level in the Western world. In musical shows and films such as Cabaret (1972) it appears as the main form of dance. Its impact is clear in the work of ballet Choreographers such as Balanchine and in much modern dance.
Waltz. Derived from an old Austrian-German peasant dance, the Landler, the waltz first gained popularity in the early 19th century and still exists in the late 20th century in various versions. It was originally a fast turning couple dance in 3/4 or 3/8 time with a marked accent on the first beat. Over the years the tempo decreased, although the ‘Viennese Waltz’, as in the works of the Strauss family, has retained much of the earlier lilting fast style in contrast to the modern slower waltzes. The popularity and scandal that the waltz engendered was due not only to its hypnotic rhythm but also the innovative hold and the relative positions of the man and woman.
Prior to the waltz, dances had been as much for the pleasure of the spectators as for the performers and this was reflected in the dual orientation of the dancers’ movements. In demonstration and competition dancing the waltz can be as showy and spectacular as other dances, but as a social dance it is the couple dance associated with courtship. In ballet, films, and musicals it is often used as a romantic symbol, as in the Tchaikovsky ballets such as Swan Lake.
Swing dance is most commonly known as a group of dances that developed with the Swing style of jazz music in the 1920s-1950s, although the earliest of these dances predate “swing era” music. The best known of these dances is Lindy Hop, a popular partner dance that originated in Harlem in 1927 and is still danced today. While the majority of swing dances began in African American communities as vernacular African American dances, some swing era dances, such as (Fox Trot and Balboa as just some examples) developed in white communities.
“Swing dance” came from Charleston, Fox Trot, and Jig Trot influenced footwork. In Chicago and in the south they Had there own Style of Swing, which was more Two-step based, and most of these Regional Swing dances gave way to various influences, such as other dance forms of dance but also the decline of Dance Bands, and partner dancing after WW2.
Rumba (rhumba), a Latin American dance with a strongly African character, with syncopated and broken rhythms played with strong percussive effect. The Cubans adapted the original African dance into a ballroom dance called the danzon, and with the general outflow of Latin American music to North America and Europe, the modern rumba came into vogue in New York about 1931, the most popular and typical composition to which it was danced being ‘The Peanut Vendor’.
Samba, a dance from Brazil. It has two distinct forms: the rural samba, which has African influences and a complicated rhythmic structure; and the urban samba, known as the ‘samba-carioca’, a more popularized form developed in the dance-halls of Rio de Janeiro. It has a simple step, and combines easily with other dances, as in the samba-*tango and samba-*rumba. There is also a distinct song form.
Tango, a Latin American couple dance in duple time that evolved in the late 19th century in the poorer districts of Buenos Aires and was later exported to North America and Europe. It has a characteristic halting, repeated rhythmic figure in the accompaniment, and consists of two sections of equal length.
Flamenco, a dance indigenous to southern Spain. It originates from the classic Moorish dance (itself influenced by dance from northern India) and from the dance and music of Spanish gypsies. These probably combined in the 15th century, when both Moors and gypsies took refuge from the Christians, and produced a dance of forceful rhythmic footwork and sinuous arm movements.
During the 19th century flamenco became a recognized art, with the dance inextricably connected to handclapping, song, and guitar-playing. Improvisation is stressed and there are two main styles, the serious jondo, and the light, sometimes humorous chico.
Ballerina, a woman ballet dancer, especially one taking leading roles in classical ballet. The prima ballerina is the star dancer of a company. In general, this recognition of the importance of the dancer reflects the method of composition or choreography and the importance of individual interpretation in all forms of dance. The focus on the female at the expense of the male, however, is a phenomenon of the 19th-century movement towards Romanticism in dance, emphasizing the spiritual and sensual virtues of woman. Prime examples of technical
Ballet, a theatrical form of dance typically combining dance steps with music, set, and costume in an integrated whole. The dance is usually based on a narrative (in which case it might include mime) or on the movements typical of the genre (the danse d’ecole). The lavish, and extremely long, Italian court spectacles of the Renaissance were often based on allegorical sources.
The development of ballet from this point might be roughly divided into the mid-19th-century romantic ballets, the Russian classics of the latter part of the 19th century, and the Ballets Russes of Diaghilev, which act as a bridge to the modern and postmodern ballets of the 20th century. The romantic ballets have characteristics common to Romanticism across the arts, of the creation of an ethereal, idealized world. Dancing on point and the use of gauzy white floating fabric helped to create this illusion.
Russian ballet owes its origins both to a romantic use of the folk or character dances of the 19th century and to the techniques of ballet. It flourished under Tsarist patronage and, with the arrival of the choreographer Petipa in 1847, the Imperial Ballet developed the Classical form to perfection.
The Western European revival of ballet in the 20th century is credited to the Russian impresario Diaghilev through the Ballets Russes dance company, which first toured Europe in 1909. His ability to bring major choreographers (Fokine, Massine, Nijinsky, Nijinska) together with composers (Stravinsky, Faure, Prokofiev, Satie) and painters (Benois, Bakst, Roerich, Picasso) to collaborate on works such as The Firebird, Petrushka, and The Rite of Spring heralded a new age. Colorful Russian and oriental spectacles were set alongside works reflective of experimental modern art in what were sometimes seen as outrageous avant-garde programs.
Although the Ballets Russes performed in London it was not until the middle of the 20th century that a distinctive style emerged in Britain. In the 1920s the formation of schools and companies by Rambert and de Valois (the Royal Ballet and Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet) was the start of a development based initially on Ballets Russes works. Later, revivals of ballets from the Romantic and Classical periods joined the repertoire, but always with new or ‘modern’ choreographies.
Choreography, the process of arranging or designing dance. The word is derived from the Greek for dancing (khoreia) and writing (graphos), and was originally used by Feuillet to describe his system of dance notation. Later in the 18th century the word came to mean the art of creating dances, the sense in which it is used today. Thus choreographing is a Western invention.
Many forms of dance do not recognize choreographers or ‘owners’ of certain dances, though individual dancers may create or improvise variations on traditional movements. Choreographers almost never write a ‘score’ as a composer might, rather they create directly on the dancers, only writing the work down afterwards, if at all. Some choreographers begin with a very clear idea of the movements they want to use: Petipa constructed tiny models, while de Valois and Cunningham plan meticulously on paper.
Norwich John Oxford Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Arts
Jewellery Art (Russian) Illustrated guide to jewelry. Publisher ART SPRING, published in Russian, 2005