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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Concert dance (also known as performance dance or theatre dance in the United Kingdom) is performed for an audience and is not participative, though it need not necessarily be performed in a concert or theatre setting. By contrast, social dance and participation dance may be performed without an audience. Usually concert dance performances are choreographed to set music, whereas social dances tend not to be choreographed and are danced to changing music. Exceptions include non-standardized social dances such as the argentine tango, the salsa and the swing.

Some ceremonial dances, baroque dances and erotic dances are dances that blend social and concert dance; here participants assume the roles of performer or audience at different moments.

Concert dance hybrid-genre performances have a significant element of dramatic enactment or may be dramas with significant concert dance content.

Dance Theatre is performed before an audience at a theatre or other public venue. The terms dance-drama, dance-theatre and theatre-dance are interchangeable. Among others, ballet, the Persian classical courtroom dances, and the temple dances of India exist primarily as theatre dance.


Concert dance forms

Styles traditionally considered concert dance:


This courtroom dance originated in Italy, then flourished in France and Russia before spreading across Europe and abroad. Ballet became an academic discipline taught in schools and institutions. Amateur and professional troupes formed: ballet came to the theatre from the courts and flourished as a full-fledged dance theatre.

Acro dance

Acrobatic dance emerged in the United States and Canada in the early 1900s as one of the types of acts performed in vaudeville. Acro dance has evolved significantly since then, with dance movements now founded in ballet technique and a commensurate precision of form and movement that was absent in vaudeville acrobatic dance.

Temple dances of India

The origin of dance in India was in temples. The six dances of India — namely Kathak, Kathakali, Manipuri, Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kuchipudi — were performed by the devadasis with the exception of Kathak, which was the only male dance of India. In India, dance instruction was traditionally oral under the guru Shishya Parampara. After Independence, the institution of devadasis (regarded as being akin to prostitution) became banned [1]

Thereafter dance developed as a university subject and dance schools and institutions with curriculums and examinations came into being. People from respectable families came to perform these dances publicly on stage leading to emergence of the dance-drama.

Classical Persian Court Dance

An important era influencing Persian dance was the Qadjar dynasty which reigned from 1795 to 1925. In this period, that dance began to be called "classical Persian dance". Dancers performed artistic dances in the court of the Shah for entertainment purposes such as coronations, marriage celebrations, and Norouz celebrations (Iranian new year). The rise of the Qadjars liberalizes people's attitudes toward dancing, although it remained in the royal court and among the elite and bourgeois families. The court dancers elevated respect for dance to an art form.

Costuming generally consisted of loosely-fitted long dress with long sleeves, worn with a jacket. The jacket extended over the sides of the hips and was either worn open or closed. The Qadjar dancers wore pants under the dress. A purely Persian pant was cut narrow and cuffed and loose at the bottom. Sometimes a Turkish harem pant was worn, extremely full and gathered tight at the ankles. The fabrics were bright in color and flowered. The Shah rewarded performers with jewels, so many costumes had elaborate gold embroidery, pearl beading and gemstones. Upon the head was worn an egret, a small paisley-shaped hat adorned with jewels, pearls and a feather. Hair was worn long and elaborate, with side locks and bangs fashioned into shapes.

Traditionally, the music was played by a small band with one or two melodic instruments and a drum. In the 20th century, the music came to be orchestrated and dance movement and costuming gained a modernistic orientation to the West. In 1928, ballet came to Iran and impacted dance performance, adding a feeling of lightness and more delicate footwork. The jacket was flared more fully at the hips much like a tutu, and the dance form became more modern in outlook and flourished as a performing art.[2]

Modern and Contemporary dance

Theatre dance in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, theatre dance is often used as an umbrella term to encompass a range of performance dance disciplines, especially in reference to the teaching of dance to children. The UK has a number of specialist dance training and examination boards, most having a separate branch dedicated to theatre dance, with codified syllabi in each technique. Worldwide, many dance teachers and schools prepare their pupils for dance examinations and qualifications with a UK based organisation, most notably with the Royal Academy of Dance and the International Dance Teachers Association. All United Kingdom theatre dance organisations are consistent in offering classical ballet, tap and modern or modern jazz as their core theatre branch subjects. Many also offer 'theatre craft' or 'stage dance', which is devised to reflect the choreography seen in musical theatre.


Prominent UK dance training/examination organisations are:

See also



  • Adams, D.(1999) Making the Connection: A Comparison of Dance in the Concert Versus Worship Setting. Sharing NYC. ISBN 0-941500-51-9
  • Carter, A. (1998) The Routledge Dance Studies Reader. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-16447-8

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