is man fitted by his nature to dance Man can dance because from
his birth lie has .in inherent instinct for rhythm. And, as it Matter
Of fact, it is not only dancing which is the product or result of
this inherent instinct for rhythm. We can say that tile whole life
of mail, whether its an individual or a social being, a rational
cultural or political being, is rhythmical or has rhythm. We can
even go further than that and say that everything in this world
moves and develops according to a certain rhythm.
can see for ourselves that tile ability of mail to dance exists
before it is taught by watching a little child, who is still totally
ignorant of the world and its ways. If its mother makes rhythmical
signs by clapping her hands or by singing a child of but one year
old, without being taught to dance, will move hands, head and legs
spontaneously in accordance with the rhythm of the clapping or the
singing of its mother. Of course tile rhythm given to the child
must be a simple one since a child's ability to respond is still
very simple. Though the movements or the dancing of the little child
are still very simple, they nevertheless have an aesthetic value,
though it is still very low or simple.
is based on these facts that we can give a definition of dancing.
Dancing is "an' expression of the human soul by means of beautiful
beauty of dancing is of course relative and is valued according
to the level of the culture of the society producing it.
lives of men in prehistoric times, for instance, when culture was
still undeveloped and simple, depended very much on nature. To them
the rhythm or rhythmical movements in the natural world around them
bad a very great influence on the rhythm of their lives, so much
so that these movements practically dominated their lives.
Of Course also greatly affected their dances, The dances of prehistoric
people are always centered upon imitation of the movements of trees
blown by the wind, of flowing water in streams, of the waves of
the sea, of tile movements of animals and so on. Their dance movements
are also restricted to very simple and Unrefined movements of the
hands and stamping of the feet.
keeping with the above definition of dancing - that dancing is an
expression of the human Soul by means of beautiful rhythmical movements
- we can say that dancing has a dual quality. On the one hand, dancing
is an expression of the human soul by means of movements, thus dancing
has an individual quality. On the other hand, dancing is beautiful
rhythmical movements, the beauty of which can be evaluated only
by another person, so dancing has a social quality. We can even
go much further and say that dancing has a social function. The
fact that dancing has two qualities, an individual and a social
one also means that the art of dancing will develop in harmony and
parallel with the development of the society supporting
In prehistoric times, when the life of man was still directed in
all its aspects by his belief in a spirit world, dances also were
naturally concerned with the spirits. Animism and totemism caused
the dances of peoples in prehistoric times to have a magic quality.
In such communties, men considered that everything in the world
had a spirit and power which was the cause of all the movements
of every single thing existing. All these movements had to follow
a fixed rhythm, and if it so happened that a movement deviated from
that fixed rhythm, so that it was not in harmony, the disharmony
of rhythm would have unpleasant results, this is, there would be
disaster in this world. Consequently, if there was a natural disaster
people would try overcome it through restoring the movements of