American Rhythm Dancing and the Articulation of the Inarticulate
Dancing expressed from a core of rhythmically articulated, intensity-infused energy is the hallmark of African-American-originated dance. Forms driven by strongly rhythmic body-dynamics are aesthetic cousins, which can be grouped under the umbrella term “American rhythm dancing.” This genre includes people as diverse as the krumper Lil’ C, jazz innovator Jack Cole, and tap dancers Fred Astaire and the Nicholas Brothers. When choreographers and dancers build movement from rhythmically accented dynamics, the energy of the movement more than its spatial organization impacts on the viewer. This is in contrast to space-organized movement that concentrates on re-shaping the body parts to achieve geometrically defined lines, as well as moving bodies through space in straight or curved paths. The author proposes a rebalancing of dance curriculums to focus more on the aesthetics of energy and body dynamics.
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