#1
Hello.

I've always been able to interpret works that exist on the creative/expressive scale. Such as art, i had to write an entire paper on a painting - and it was like writing about poetry to me, i fully understand it as if it were poetry. It's the same for music, i can get exactly what it is almost instantly. Same with Opera, i might not understand what they're saying, but i can deduce meaning and follow the plot with relative ease.

But dance, i properly have no idea what the hells going. The dancing seems to be at odds with the music, almost as if music is just being played and dancers just storm the stage doing weird things. I'd like to say at this point that i appreciate the talent of all dancers, i simply don't understand the meaning or point of it.

Take ballet for example, just 2 nights ago on BBC3 was a modern dance ballet thing - and i sat for 30 minutes desperately trying to understand what the fudge was going on and why, it just made absolutely no sense at all.

I've asked professional a dancer friend, and well - it didn't really go well, she flew off the handle and i really got no closer to understanding the art form.

Am i the only one that really has no idea on how to interpret dance, or even appreciate it to its full potential? I respect the talent of the dancers, but it feels pointless and relatively hollow when i try and understand what's going on. Does anyone else share this view, or can someone enlighten me on how to appreciate dance and it's various forms?
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#2
dancing is stupid and weird.i think its one thing if you are genuinely inspired to move to the music but i know exactly what you are talking about where they "storm the stage and just do a bunch of weird movements." it just seems so contrived- "ok its time to dance- move around all weird now!"
#3
Lol

But what i don't understand is like, ok they're waving their limbs about - are they pretending to be a leaf on the wind? Are they upset? Are they having a fit? But then you listen to the music, and it's like a really slow emotional classical piece - and you're just constantly left with a stage full of people doing strange movements to music that doesn't fit, and all you can do is just - what is this... i don't even...
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#4
I know what you mean.

It can be expressive, I guess. Like a butterfly breaking out of it's caccoon and spreading it's wings for the first time. Some shit like that, you could argue that the meaning behind it is a person breaking free of anything binding them and being true selves, or whatever.

But there's this hip hop dance group that lives near me and their slogan is "We dance to express, not to impress", and they go on about bringing everybody together and stuff. Yet when they started dancing, it's like... They all gather in a circle and take turns doing flips and shit while the others shout "Oh shit nigga!". I find that to be impressive, especially when they move as one unit to the music, but hardly expressive
#5
Quote by IommiPage
I know what you mean.

It can be expressive, I guess. Like a butterfly breaking out of it's caccoon and spreading it's wings for the first time. Some shit like that, you could argue that the meaning behind it is a person breaking free of anything binding them and being true selves, or whatever.

But there's this hip hop dance group that lives near me and their slogan is "We dance to express, not to impress", and they go on about bringing everybody together and stuff. Yet when they started dancing, it's like... They all gather in a circle and take turns doing flips and shit while the others shout "Oh shit nigga!". I find that to be impressive, especially when they move as one unit to the music, but hardly expressive


Firstly, i'm Mr. Ellen Page!

I loved your intro, poetry then 'some shit like that' But i mean 'breaking the bonds of the physical body' argument to me is just like, i've seen it done better at musical performances by an artist - and i'm sure we've all felt something similar when we're playing sometimes. So why go to all that effort to just make a point that's so old and tired.

Yeh the hip hop stuff, regardless of liking it or not, is impressive But as you say, what does it express? I don't understand how spinning on ones head express your angst or whatever
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#6
I dont get what people like about dancing either....my gf is mad about it, any song with a catchy beat comes on she starts dancing. But then again, her mind likes it. Mine doesnt her mind gets annoyed by chuggah chuggah, so what I like doesnt do the same for her. Guess ots just a bit of a personal taste thing, where someone gets it but someone else doesnt.
#7
Quote by GS LEAD 5
I dont get what people like about dancing either....my gf is mad about it, any song with a catchy beat comes on she starts dancing. But then again, her mind likes it. Mine doesnt her mind gets annoyed by chuggah chuggah, so what I like doesnt do the same for her. Guess ots just a bit of a personal taste thing, where someone gets it but someone else doesnt.


Pics or it didn't happen.



But i guess it's a way for her to further enjoy the music, it just manifests itself as dancing - as in no doubt opposed to yours which will probably be head banging. So ti's not really 'true dance' which is meant to have meaning and so on
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#8
I like high energy music of any genre as it makes me want to move, but really I just thrash around with varying degrees of ferocity, depending on the style of music.

I understand how it can fit with the flow and the rhythm, and sometimes how it can fit with the theme if it's supposed tot ell a story and be interpretive - but mostly it seems to be the dance that is more important than the music rather than them both being entirely interconnected - if that makes any sense
#9
An ability to appreciate art as art comes from a familiarity with the form of the art and it's place within the context of the history of art as a whole. Without a decent amount of casual exposure to it or studying it in an academic manner it is impossible to grasp at the artistic meaning of a piece of work as you have no idea of what to analyse or how to interpret that feature in it's context with other works.

I'm the same with visual arts. Can see "ooh that's a nice one, must have been hard" or "well that's bollocks" but any further engagement is just beyond my understanding of that art form.

So basically if dance exists in the manner it does there will definitely be some meaning there but you may well just not have the familiarity or knowledge of the style to interpret it as more than people jumping over the stage (frankly how I see it too).

As far as appreciating it you're only hope would be to bury yourself balls deep in contemporary and historical examples of artistic dance and to gain some understanding of the way those who appreciate it view it (if they can vocalise it).
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#10
Quote by benonbass1
I like high energy music of any genre as it makes me want to move, but really I just thrash around with varying degrees of ferocity, depending on the style of music.

I understand how it can fit with the flow and the rhythm, and sometimes how it can fit with the theme if it's supposed tot ell a story and be interpretive - but mostly it seems to be the dance that is more important than the music rather than them both being entirely interconnected - if that makes any sense

Does. Most metal is mroe about the riffing and soloing than the lyrics or vocals


Quote by leeb rocks
An ability to appreciate art as art comes from a familiarity with the form of the art and it's place within the context of the history of art. Without a decent amount of casual exposure to it or studying it in an academic manner it is impossible to grasp at the artistic meaning of a piece of work as you have no idea of what to analyse or how to interpret that feature in it's context with other works.

I'm the same with visual arts. Can see "ooh that's a nice one, must have been hard" or "well that's bollocks" but any further engagement is just beyond my understanding of that art form.

So basically if dance exists in the manner it does there will definitely be some meaning there but you may well just not have the familiarity or knowledge of the style to interpret it as more than people jumping over the stage (frankly how I see it too).


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#12
I like dancing as a way to let off steam and go a bit silly. Whether I can "dance" or not, I have no idea, but it feels liberating and I enjoy it.

As for expressing yourself; it's just a release. At least that's what I reckon when hip-hop dancers say that - they are literally going mad, losing all inhibitions and spinning on their fricking head!

TS, to be honest, I think you are overthinking things and looking at dance too analytically; it's a very tribal, pure (arguably innate) act that doesn't really need explanation.

However, ballet and choreographed dance - haven't a clue what it normally means. I think it's generally open to interpretation (though some dances do have obvious stories) and looks pretty.

#13
I don't mean generic 'anyone can dance' dancing, i meant in the forms of actual art. Do you really want to me to lap dance you corey?

As for the argument that's 'you must be involved in the study of it to appreciate it' - whilst it probably is the problem, one has to ask - why is this so? How can anyone simply walk in and enjoy it then without being completely baffled?

Most people can see a photograph, and see that it's nice and then say something about it, and same for other countless artistic endeavors, but dance really projects a sense of 'you have to be part of it and study it to appreciate the silly movements we do that have little meaning'. So it kind of makes professional dance a bit pointless when it's barely understandable, and on top of that has a sense of 'lololo laern 2 play lolzk?' about it
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#14
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I don't mean generic 'anyone can dance' dancing, i meant in the forms of actual art. Do you really want to me to lap dance you corey?

As for the argument that's 'you must be involved in the study of it to appreciate it' - whilst it probably is the problem, one has to ask - why is this so? How can anyone simply walk in and enjoy it then without being completely baffled?

Most people can see a photograph, and see that it's nice and then say something about it, and same for other countless artistic endeavors, but dance really projects a sense of 'you have to be part of it and study it to appreciate the silly movements we do that have little meaning'. So it kind of makes professional dance a bit pointless when it's barely understandable, and on top of that has a sense of 'lololo laern 2 play lolzk?' about it


Exposure to dance as an artform is much, much rarer than photography, music or film. So it's much rarer to build up the social tools to engage with it as art.

Even in these (films, books, movies, etc.) cases most enjoyment doesn't seem to come from active engagement with the art as art itself (pretentious wanker terms incoming...) but simply with what is presented. Pierre Bourdieu has done a lot of work here and I think the best way to sum it up is when he says focus is often on the represented rather than the representation. When most people appreciate a film it's due to the story/action/gratuitous sex and such obvious features, not the subtle nods to the works of Harmony Korine and existentialist literature. That sorta thing requires a grounding in the artform and the critique of it.

For dance I'd say there are three options then of those who enjoy it. 1) your average individual who has no bases in the understanding of dance (you and me) simply enjoys it for the represented material (story, costumes, pretty colours, etc.). 2) those who pretend to enjoy it more than they do cause it makes you look cultured and shiz and 3) those who have some grounding from which to understand the dance as art. This could either be an explicit understanding (a scholar of dance who's read a bizzilion books on the subject) or an implicit one that they may not be able to clearly annunciate (a professional dancer).

Dance seems harder for your 'average punter' to get into because exposure to it is less common and the 'represented' material is often barer than in other mediums.

Hope this makes sense/isn't pretentious dribble. Getting most of this from the work of a Frenchman so it has that air of French intellectual bastard to it I feel.
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#15
Lol nah i got it all.

Fair enough, it's a valid argument. It's just that, i don't enjoy the story/costumes/colors and so on, because i can't follow it regardless of how hard i try I know there's a story and meaning behind dance, but it's just absolute nonsense to me.

As for appreciating the nods to their predecessors and so on - it's kind of like watching family guy and getting the really obscure references (hur durr). But to me, dance just seems to be just that, as in - it's tipping its hat to something that is already illegible - and it's done so for hundreds of years, so it's really only an art form for the super informed or those that are just born with a passion for it (even if they don't understand it - which is fine) can enjoy. Which i think is slightly disappointing for an art form, if it's meant to express something, surely the best way is to make it clear so people can stand a chance of grasping it's core meaning.
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