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MOTIVATION: It is what drives the dancer. It is either Drama, (story), Music or Culture. And often a blend of these.

DRAMA: Theatrical/Classical dance such as Ballet, Bharata Natyam or Persian Classical dance, is Dramatic Dance. Theatrical dance is driven by the characters and story line. Dancers are telling a story.

A sub-concept in Drama is THEME - a dramatic concept which spurs all other parts of the dance as a whole. Example: Motherhood - how would you communicate this through dance? what music would you use? what costumes would you use? How would this concept work as a solo? as a duet or as a group piece?

MUSIC: The dancer’s emotional and physical expression of the mood of the music. In pure dance (dance that is not a story) this is the motivation. Pure Music = Pure Dance.

CULTURAL: Dance that is stylized from a certain time or location: Saidi, Karsilama; The Twist, The Waltz.

Dance with the understanding that it is an act of the Body/Mind/Spirit as a whole, not just the body! IT is easy for dancers to become enthralled with being athletes and the physical part of movement. But, dance is also drama and music, so understanding how this translates dance is important.

  • The Head is the Spiritual/Intellectual Center. It moves the body by bringing the lofty elements of the non-physical together with the physical using melody, rhythm and composition as a whole, as well as the mind heart and body as a whole being. Spiritual themes such as ritual dances - rain dances and liturgical dances, are spiritually motivated. Taksim is very spiritually motivated.

  • Torso is the Emotional/Heart center. It is the mood or emotional center and connects with the music through the heart. Dances of love and romance are heart and torso dances.

  • Lower body is the Sensual Center. Hips and legs are the center of the rhythm. They connect with the sensual or sexual part of the person.Drum Solos are the sensual part of belly dance.

Once the dancer connects Mind- Body-Soul with Drama- Culture - Music, she has a full picture of the landscape of choreography and she can begin putting a dance together. Then, the mechanics come to play!

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