Swing Discussion Boards > What drives the evolution of dance?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by DanceMentor, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    This is an excerpt from someone in the Lindy Hop world, but could.be applicable to other dance forms too:

    I was privy to a conversation with a pro recently and he was discussing what an honor it was to be a judge for lindy hop competitions. He feels that one of his responsibilities as a judge and respected community member is to help steer the evolution and progression of the dance. That got me thinking. As a community, are we giving too much power to select individuals in regards to the future of our dance? Do you think the evolution of the dance is driven more by social dancing or competitions? Do competitions or performances pose any kind of threat to the rest of the dance? What do you think?
     
  2. LPDTMovement

    LPDTMovement New Member

    Social dancing...it shows that anyone can learn or become a dancer and its a world wide language
     
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  3. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Aliens tinkering with our DNA?
     
    ajiboyet likes this.
  4. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    They got at you already? :;
     
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  5. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Would an unmodified wolf wear a tux? I think not...
     
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  6. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    This came up in a discussion earlier today here (locally). IMO, I believe there are many variables that contribute to the evolution of dance; 1- we learn from previous versions of things that might have been/be incorrect physically or technically, and seek to improve it, 2- trends/fads (just as in fashion or other areas, we just get tired of doing something one way, and seek to change it for a while), 3- the invention of DanceSport (this opened BR to dancers of other genres who were not trained in proper/traditional BR, and who brought their techniques, styles, etc to the dance; good in some respects... not so much in others), and 4- our culture's obsessiveness with celebrity-ism (what someone might do in a comp or performance, whether correct or not, or even good or not, is often awed and copied into the dance simply because it came from one with some sort of comp status or title.

    The fellow with whom I was speaking (a well known adjudicator of a few decades), said, "You should lighten up. There is nothing wrong with dances evolving". My reply.... "I have no problem with dancing evolving, even if I do not agree with the reason for it. My issue is with when the dance evolves so much, that it is no longer a representation of its original intent or character. Sadly, this has happened often in BR, and we have allowed it to the point where we cannot easily go back and recover these intents and characters."
     
  7. SwingingAlong

    SwingingAlong Well-Known Member

    I haven't been dancing long in the scheme of things... I'd love to see/hear examples of this, particularly international standard. The main things I've observed so far are changes in topline, and step length/power. Sometimes I think I see that balance is compromised as a result (in some couples, not all), but I'm not sure whether my observations are correct or not.
     
  8. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen much exorbitant evolution in Standard save for the period where the tango was almost a ludicrous cartoon of a dance with far too many power jerks and head snaps. IMO, it's more prevalent in the Rhythm/Latin (i.e. Rumba is no longer a dance of love and passion, so much as one of disconnected running, snapping, jerking, hitting hard and disconnected (from the partner) lines and poses; and, Paso, where the man and lady no longer have separate roles, but she is too often seen almost fighting with the lead for power over the dance with angry snarls and grimaces, and seemingly separated contests of power). To save time/space, I refrain here from video examples, but you can clearly see what I mean by viewing earlier vs more modern clips on the web.
     
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  9. PaulBunyon

    PaulBunyon Member

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned pop culture.

    Saturday Night Fever
    Dirty Dancing
    Urban Cowboy
    Step Up
    MTV
    American Bandstand
    DWTS
    And more

    All seem to influence what we dance and how we dance it.
     
    ajiboyet likes this.
  10. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Yeah, if we follow DWTS, we'll all be dancing whatever random sh*t we feel like to whatever music is playing in our heads at the time.
     
    stash likes this.
  11. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Not doing the quote thing, but a fellow DFer wrote the following.

    I feel resentful that an organization such as UCWDC makes an arbitrary decision that costs me time and money to learn their version of the dance.
     
    Angel HI likes this.
  12. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Never a truer word....When one portrays " dance " on TV, it creates a picture that, is so far removed from reality for the viewer, from a social learning aspect , the prospect of learning, becomes highly improbable, in their mind .
     
  13. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    In Standard, the 2 most visible aspects, are " Pitch " and "Hold/Frame " ..
     
  14. SwingingAlong

    SwingingAlong Well-Known Member

    I understand and can see the change in Hold/frame, but what is "pitch"? Do you mean how the lines of sight have changed?
     
  15. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Pitch .. a slight forward "lean " 2/3 degrees
     
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  16. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    Money? Power? Musical trends?
     
  17. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Forgive me for bumping a, well, not so old thread :), but there is a controversial but interesting Blog entry at http://www.dancekinesis.com/blog on the evolution of dance ("What the Heck is That?"). I'd be interested of others' thoughts if you are.
     
  18. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    It essentially, was a mirror image , of what I've been saying for many moons .

    The one factor that has given great effect, that wasn't mentioned, was the styles of music now employed, to deflect the direction from it's indigenous roots .
     
    Angel HI likes this.

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