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Dance Traditions

These five videos display traditional dances from a variety of cultures.

PowWow

Excerpts from performances at a contemporary powwow show how Native American dance traditions continue to be shared. The footage was taped at the Trail of Tears Park in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

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Suggested Uses

  • Show in conjunction with “Zuni Harvest Dances” from the Dances from Many Cultures video/DVD.
  • Show in conjunction with DanceSense Program 3, “Dance in America.”
  • Show in conjunction with a field trip to a Native American powwow.

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For More Information

See the Dance and Culture section of the Dance Arts Toolkit binder.

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Kathak

Kathak is a classical Indian dance. The word kathak means “to tell a story.” Although it is derived from dance dramas of ancient India, the kathak today is less a way to tell religious stories than an entertainment exploring rhythm and movement. This excerpt is from a Mecca Dance Studio performance.

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Suggested Uses

  • Show in conjunction with DanceSense Program 2, “The Dance of Culture.”
  • As part of a study of Indian culture.
  • Show with other dances on the Dances from Many Cultures video/DVD to compare and contrast cultural dances.
  • Compare with other dances that tell stories, such as ballet.

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For More Information

See the History and Styles section of the Dance Arts Toolkit binder.

About DanceSense:

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Three Irish Dances

Dancers with the Carrigdhoun Comhaltas perform examples of three different Irish dances: a polka (“Balleydesmond,” 00:01:36), a jig (“Jenny Lind,” 00:02:43), and a reel (“Drowsy Maggie and Cooleys,” 00:02:23).

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Suggested Uses

  • Show in conjunction with DanceSense Program 3, “Dance in America,” and/or Program 10, “Tap and Percussive Dance.”
  • Show in conjunction with the “Kentucky Clogging” segment and tap segment “Jamaica Funk” from the Dance Performances video/DVD to compare a variety of percussive dances.
  • As part of a study of Irish culture.
  • Compare with African dances and analyze what tap borrows from African tradition.

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For More Information

See the History and Styles section of the Dance Arts Toolkit binder.

About DanceSense:

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Jean Ritchie on Play Party Games

Dancing Threads series host Anndrena Belcher interviews traditional Kentucky performer Jean Ritchie about the play party games Ritchie played as a youngster in Eastern Kentucky. Ritchie discusses the importance of the games as community celebrations and to social activities such as courting.

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Suggested Uses

  • Show in conjunction with students watching or learning the play party game “Goin’ to Boston” from the Dances from Many Cultures video/DVD or another folk dance that originated in Europe.
  • To build your own knowledge of play party games and Appalachian dance.
  • As part of a study of Kentucky culture.
  • To introduce a class discussion of games played by students and their families/ancestors.

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Berea College Country Dance School

This documentary segment shows how people in Berea, Kentucky are keeping dance traditions alive through an annual dance school that attracts participants from around the world.

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Suggested Uses

  • Show in conjunction with “Goin’ to Boston” and/or “Upon a Summer’s Day” from the Dances from Many Cultures video/DVD.
  • Show in conjunction with the segment “Jean Ritchie on Play Party Games” from the DanceSense Enhanced DVD.
  • As part of a study of Appalachian culture.
  • As background for what to expect if you attend a folk dance PD or school.

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For More Information

See the Dance and Culture section of the Dance Arts Toolkit binder.

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