A Discussion on the Relationship Between Dance and Language

When one analyzes dance, one tends to convert dance into a language in which the dancer is trying to convey something to the audience. For the dancers, it’s like a celebration. It may include the themes of life, death, anger, hope and love When one can’t talk, one dances to get the message across. In this paper, I will present the correlation between dance and language. I will explain how dance came about and when language got involved. Then, I will consider some arguments against viewing dance as a language and how dance is used as an alternative medium to convey a message across where languages cannot, Finally, I will explain how dance cannot be directly translated into a language.

To better understand the relationship between dance and language, we need to question the different forms of dance and language to see how they both relate. When one ta ks about dance, does one mean dance as an art form or any kind of dance?

And when one ta ks about language, is it a spoken language or a quantitative language in the mathematical sense? Many scholars claim that dance is some sort of translatable rhetoric, a language in wtich one can speak For example, the French dance theorist Jehan Tabourot wrote, under the name of Arbeau, “most of the authorities hold that dancing is a kind of mute rhetoric by w rich the orator without uttering a word, can make himself understood by his movements” (Arbeau, 16).

Dance is commonly known for expressing one’s thoughts through movements w ere it is easy to recognize and comprehend.

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But what if there is no relationship between dance and language? The relationship between dance and language is refuted by examining the ways in WliCh dance is originated. Dance came about when the death of loved ones was caused by diseases so dance was used as a healing ritual to help those overcome one’s sorrow feelings/

For example, “Dance can tell stories, but it cannot be used to gossip or to pass on knowledge about another subject” (Hagendoorn, 224) In a situation in which one lost a loved one, one can understand that the person who is dancing is sad based on the theme of the situation, but one cannot fully translate the whole dance into a sentence or a paragraph explaining the situation in nitty gritty details, But one is forced to use a spoken language to explain dance since a spoken language is more commonly used and is superior than any other forms of communication, When it comes to dance, viewers look for familiar gestures or body movements to determine what kind of dance it is and the message behind it Dancers sometimes incorporate different gestures of dance and combine them together into one piece of art for the viewers to interpret.

But that begs the question: could it just be picking out specific parts of a dance performance and defining the entire performance as X? Sometimes, the dancer may try to convey a different message relating to the theme of the dance, but may be misunderstood because it was masked with another meaning other than the intended meaning by the other gestures, The language metaphor may highlight the fact that dance employs gesture to express and communicate intention and emotion. People gesture when they speak, raise their fists in anger, shrug their shoulders in doubt, frown upon a question, jump with joy and use elaborate body movements to make themselves clear when misunderstood, As a whole, these gestures are sometimes referred to as body language and we may then subsume dance under this more general notion, except of course that the term body language is itself a metaphor in need of explanation (Hagendoorn, 223) When one looks at the big picture of a dance performance, there are intermediate dance movements that tie together the main dance routines.

The so—called transitions in dance are not translatable to a spoken language It is hard to say if those transitioning dance movements act as a period, question mark, exclamation mark, comma, or semicolon if translated into a language. it is these interconnections between routines that are overlooked over because they cannot be directly translated into a spoken language one understands. Dancers see dance as an alternative medium to deliver a message across when languages cannot. The challenge the dancer has to face is when the viewers interpret the wrong message. Viewers often dig ““behind” the text, to find a sub-text which is the true one“ (Sontag, 4) These viewers try to impose meaning on things to understand them, For example, in Beyoncé’s “Formation” there were people who misinterpreted the meaning behind her music video and there were people who have an interpretation that could be what she intended, Dance is not a universal language where everyone knows what a certain dance movement means.

Since dance is not a universal language, it is hard to interpret the true meaning of a dancer Though one of the best things about dancing is that the impulse to do it is often involuntary. The best music skips the mind and goes right to the body. This is a point where music can be meaningless, and thoughts such as ‘What is this person trying to say‘ have escaped the mind. By examining the origin of dance and how language may have co-evolved with dance, it helps to understand how often one uses language to interpret a dancer There could also be a number of reasons why dancers choose to dance to convey something across because dance can express things in ways that language cannot. Therefore, dance cannot be directly translated into a language, And this is why dance cannot be related to a language.

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A Discussion on the Relationship Between Dance and Language. (2022, Oct 27). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-discussion-on-the-relationship-between-dance-and-language/

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