Dance Journals

Journal 1

1. The lecture was about danzón, which is a genre of Latin American music and dance. It is considered to be born in the beginning of the 19th century from the conterdance, or habanera in the Cuban tradition.

2. The main purpose of the danzón was social. People gathered to dance, to communicate and to express their emotions. In fact, it was partly an oral newspaper, and partly a psychological workshop.

3. The first thing I learned from this lecture is that La Paloma, which is closely connected with the danzón, is thought to be the first world hit. The second interesting issue that the danzón is a mixture of the African rhythms and the European tradition of conterdance, so in fact it is fusion of genres. The third peculiarity of the danzón is that it became a starting point for development of Sals, Cha-Cha-Cha and Mambo.

4. The description of the connections different cultures can have and how they form a completely new genre in the result of blending impacted me the most during this lecture. The danzón is considered to be characteristic to the Latin American culture, but in fact it features both European and African elements.

5. I started to think about the importance of dance in the life of people in the 19th and, perhaps, 20th century, when there were no such means of communication like Internet. People used to gather on the dances, and to learn the news there. Perhaps, such real time communication was more emotional than it is nowadays.

6. This lecture was important because it gives a possibility to understand the roots and specifics of the danzón as the cultural notion and the dance genre. It has a long history and influenced many other dance genres. Understanding of such connections helps to feel the dance genre better.

Journal 2

1. This lecture was about culture and folklore.

2. The purpose of folklore dance is the expression of the culture. It reflects the ideals, the traditions and the attitudes of the particular society. It is also a source of learing the common knowledge for children.

3. The first thing I learned from this lecture is that the word folklore consists of two parts: folk, which means the group of people, and lore, which denotes the knowledge of that people like music and dance. The second think is that the notion of folklore was introduced in the 1840s by William John Thoms. The last third new thing is that folk dance was not created for stage performance.

4. The attention that many philosophers and writers paid to the folklore impacted me the most during this lecture. It is a well known idea that a person who does not know his/her culture is like a tree without root, but the fact that almost every thinking person investigated into the importance of culture delighted me.

5. The quotation from Plato that people do not learn during their life time, but recollect, made me think and argue. I can not agree with the idea that there is some knowledge that is stored in the memory from the previous generations. It is like saying that all people know mathematics from their birth, but some of them recollect it better. The same thing is with folklore. It really reflects the world view of the previous centuries, but this knowledge is still not inborn.

6. This lecture is important because it shows how diverse and rich is the folklore,. It reflects the culture of the nation that was formed by many generations, and understanding of this core helps to feel art better.

Journal 3

1. This lecture was about the Samoan culture. The video shows how these people managed to preserve their traditional way of life in the modern times.

2. The purpose of the dance in the Samoan culture is ritualistic. It reflects the cultural peculiarities of the nation and marks the most important events in the life of their community.

3. The first thing I leaned today was the fact that the Samoa men cook food for the entire family, because it is a very hard thing. The second issue is connected with the tattoos. They are important in the Samoan culture, because they have an implied meaning. The knowledge about tattoo was initially transferred among women. The third thing I learned is that the tattoos on young men are the signs of their distinction in the Samoan society. They mean that this man is active member of the family, society, and is vigorous and healthy.

4. I was impressed by the way the Samoan people manage to preserve their culture when the entire world is living in the completely different way. Perhaps, it is complicated to cook on the open fire when they can buy a gas stove.

5. I wondered whether those people live in the traditional way because they really like it or because it attracts tourists to their island. Perhaps, they have double lives and in the center of the island they have convenient houses where they live when their work is over.

6. This lecture is important because it gives an understanding of the Samoan culture, that has a long history and can be studied as something completely different from the way I used to think about the world.

Extra Credit Journal

1. I enjoyed dancing even when I was small. I remember that when I was four years old, my parents took me to the dance class for children. Even now I remember my pleasure from making simple moves with the leaves in hands to the piano music. I realized that it was my talent many years later, but at that time I just enjoyed music and dance.

2. I had a good musical pitch and sense of rhythm in my childhood. It helps me in dancing greatly. In addition, I constantly developed my ability to work hard and never give up, and dancing helped me in it greatly. I can say that I used to be a creative person since my childhood and I try to continue dreaming and reflecting my dreams in the dance.

3. I want to become a successful business man as a dancer. It would be strange and not true if I would say that I so not want money for my performances or I do not want to be famous. Perhaps, every dancer wants to show the entire world his/her talent and receive people’s love.

4. I still have to create a job position, as I am currently studying. As I have mentioned earlier, I want to make dance a business. There are several opportunities to do it. For example, I can create a dance school, where all people will be able to learn how to dance or I can become a member of a show ballet.

5. The dance school will provide services to people of all ages who want to learn how to dance. In the case of participating in the show ballet, people will have an opportunity to enjoy creative dancing. In both cases, our public and the dancers themselves will benefit from these combined job opportunities.

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