Theatrical Dance - An Art within an Art ! - LTO BLOG

Theatrical Dance – An Art within an Art !

Posted On:04.27.2017

Theatrical Dance – An Art within an Art !

Madhav Sharma is preparing for his next stage play. The lines are memorized, the expressions come naturally but… it’s the feet that seem to be struggling to express themselves… dancing to a particular scene in the play is going to take some practice, he thinks aloud as his feet miss the beat for the third time. Welcome to the world of Art within an Art!

The Performing Arts as we understand includes vocal and instrumental music, dance and theatre extending to even pantomime and sung verse. The arts and forms include cultural expressions that are reflection of human creativity, also found to some extent, in many other cultural heritage domains.

Theatrical Dance is a amalgamation of theatre and dance which seem to compliment each other with a graceful essence. It’s the combination that makes us realise the importance of expressions and fluidity through varied body movement. There is fine line between expressing while acting and expressing while dancing in a theatrical performance, the difference is very impulsive sometimes depending upon the overall script as when an artist acts he/she gets on with the basic pause or stiffness which is required for the character whereas when an artist perform dance along with theatre acting they certainly gets that flow which enhance the overall presentation.

“Theatre is all about expressions and performing your heart out. I feel that Theatre actually helps a person in his/her overall growth. I have been performing on stage when I really didn’t even know what theatre is all about. I was just 5 years old when I started. While in my growing years I steadily realised this artform and adapted well with the techniques and the skills. Not just acting, but the way to express wilfully, reading the character lines through the script and further topping it up with the dance & music. I really feel connected to my character whenever I am performing on stage while acting & dancing.” Says Madhav Sharma.

Dance is a form of classic academic performance based on the various positions of the feet and using a vocabulary of movement development since the 17th century; they originally descended from court dances and spectacles of the 15th and 16th century.

In the late Renaissance society, dance was not considered merely a source of a light -hearted entertainment or physical recreation, but a profoundly intellectual experience for both participants and spectators. Infact the late 1600s the Shakespearean Era perhaps records the first confluence of dance in theatre with galliard or sinkapace, lavolta, coranto, pavane, and canary, and stage directions indicating inclusion of dancing in many plays including Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, or What You Will, Macbeth, and As You Like It.

The ballet is the most popular and well-known ancient dance characterized by graceful, balanced movements with fully extended limbs, initiated from a restricted set of body positions. The court ballet of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were intended to enlighten and edify audiences. As the art of choreography developed, it became increasingly informed by humanist ideals and imbedded with layers of meaning that were moral, philosophical and political in nature.

Ballet dancers began to use ―turned-out positions and set vocabulary of movements which were based on the:
(A) Position of the feet (B) Position of the arms and head and (C) Locomotor and non-locomotor movements

Vaibhav Verma who is an Eminent Theatre Personality (Delhi & Chandigarh) says “ Theatre is a performing art which comprises of dance, acting and as well as music.” According to his research and experience into theatre, choreography is somewhere important and somewhere not. It should be designed accordingly so that it should not harm the value of the written text of the play, because somehow these things disturbs the production value and diverts the mind of audience. Some of the most common characteristics of dance performances are: (1) Spectacular scenery
(2) Elaborate costumes and (3) Proscenium stage and a fairy tale or fable storyline. While taking about its importance in theatre. Dance enhances the production value. It gives new dimension to the production. It helps in breaking the monotony. It helps in better understanding of the performing arts.


The last step: We feel connected we might get attached either to a particular character or a story line or even the other various aspects of theatre, but what about dance which compliments theatre, can it be a new form all together in the coming future, will it allow professionals of both the creative field (dance & theatre) to collaborate further and create a whole new wave of performing arts with fine mixture of all the technical & innovative approach. Can it make a new form of performing art space in near future? No wonder there was dance in Shakespeare’s Play All’s Well That Ends Well (Act II, scene 3), Twelfth Night (Act I, scene 3)..perhaps he always had an inkling of things to come … of an Art within an Art!

Article by Madhav Sharma – Creative & Studio (Localturnon)

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