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Article

Amy Kazuye Kimura

Balinese dance and music group founded in 1979 in the San Francisco Bay Area by Michael Tenzer, Rachel Cooper, and I Wayan Suweca. It has since grown into an internationally recognized ensemble that has toured throughout North America and Bali. Under the leadership of its permanent directors and visiting artists from Bali, its members have studied using traditional methods, foregoing written notation, learning instead through imitation and by rote. The group has performed a variety of Balinese dance and music genres, including gender wayang, gong kebyar, bamboo jegog, and angklung. Its repertoire has included traditional works as well as kreasi baru (“new creations”) by Balinese and American artists, commissioned with the support of public and private funding initiatives. The group’s long-standing ties to artistic circles in both the United States and Bali have positioned it as a strongly cross-cultural organization, mutually influencing both American and Balinese musicians and dancers. In addition to performances, the ensemble has hosted educational workshops to share and promote Balinese arts and culture. In ...

Article

Barry Millington

(Ger.: ‘total work of art’)

A term used by Wagner for his notion, formulated in his theoretical essays of 1849–51, of an art form that combined various media within the framework of a drama. Harking back to ancient Greek drama, he suggested that there the basic elements of dance, music and poetry had been ideally combined. Their division into separate genres had diminished their expressive force; only in the total work of art could they regain their original dignity. Similarly, the arts of architecture, sculpture and painting would recover their classical and authentic stature only as constituents of the ‘artwork of the future’.

The architect of the theatre of the future would be guided by the law of beauty and the dictates of intelligibility rather than by the demands of social distinctions. Sets would be executed by landscape painters, and the three sister arts would be reunited in the actor of the future, who would be dancer, musician and poet in one. The new work of art would be brought into being not by a single creative artist but by a fellowship of artists, in response to a communal demand. The artist of the future was thus the ...

Article

Speranța Rădulescu

(b Romania, 1930; d Copenhagen, 4 April 2015). Romanian-Danish ethnochoreologist. She worked as a researcher at the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore in Bucharest from 1953 to 1979. She contributed to the foundation and development of scientific research on traditional dance in Romania, where she conducted extensive fieldwork, filming dances and rituals in over 200 villages. Her main interests concerned the contextual study of dance, the analysis of dance structure, the processes of dance improvisation, and dance as an identity marker for the Roma minority group. She also investigated the way traditional symbols were manipulated in Romania for national and political power legitimation.

After 1980 she lived in Denmark, where she conducted research on topics such as continuity and change in the traditional culture of the Vlachs (a Romanian speaking ethnic minority of Serbia) living in Denmark, the Romanian healing ritual căluş, and on the theory and methods of field research in contemporary society. She was the Honorary Chairperson of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology and the leader of the Sub-Study Group on Fieldwork Theory and Methods, a Board member of Danish National Committee for ICTM, and Doctor Honoris Causa of Roehampton University, London. She had a great number of publications and a fruitful activity as a lecturer on an international level. In her last years, she worked with Margaret Beissinger and Speranța Rădulescu on the volume ...

Article

Kate Van Winkle Keller

(fl. 1784–1800). American dancing master and choreographer. Griffiths was the earliest-known choreographer to publish his work in the United States. He issued a collection of country dances and cotillions (Providence, 1788), and an expanded collection with instructions for polite deportment (Northampton, 1794). The whole or partial contents of these books were reprinted by several rural New England and New York publishers over the next 15 years. A broadside of the deportment rules was printed separately. Griffiths based his activities in New York (1784–7, 1796–9?) and Boston (1788–94), and taught in smaller towns in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and upstate New York. In 1800 he moved to Charleston, South Carolina, perhaps via Philadelphia. Through his publications and itinerant teaching, Griffiths strongly influenced the repertory of social dancing and behavior in New York and New England ballrooms in the early Federal period. Some of his choreographies, notably “Fisher’s Hornpipe,” are still danced today. Griffiths may have composed several tunes for use in his classes, such as “Griffiths Whim,” “Griffiths Fancy,” and “Duo Minuet.” And he may have been related to one of the Griffiths families active on the English stage during the second half of the 18th century....

Article

Paula J. Bishop

Hawaiian hula school in Hilo, Hawaii. Founded in 1953 by Edith Kanaka’ole, the school has been instrumental in the preservation and dissemination of hula and chant practices associated with Pele, the goddess of fire. Knowledge about these traditions was passed down to Kanaka’ole through matrilineal descent for at least seven generations, and she in turn instructed her own daughters, Pualani Kanaka’ole Kanahele and Nalani Kanaka’ole, who inherited the school in 1979 upon their mother’s death.

The style of hula taught and performed by the school, ’aiha’a, is characterized by a bent-knee posture and vigorous movements, a reflection of the energy and power of the volcano goddess. In addition to learning hula, dancers at the school become fully immersed in the culture of Hawaii and hula. They learn the Hawaiian language and how to play the ipu (gourd) and pahu (sharkskin drum), and create their own costumes and props using the traditional materials and practices....

Article

M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet and Thomas Bauman

Both universalist and emphatically humanist in outlook since its founding in 1540, the Society of Jesus has always functioned as one of the principal educational arms of the Catholic Church and the papacy. This role developed most fully in the colleges and seminaries established by the Jesuits in Catholic lands. Here instruction stressed not only theology and philosophy but also literature. As early as the 16th century, dramatic representations were staged at these institutions, drawing together elements from the humanist theatre, medieval mystery plays and Shrovetide entertainments. The Bible served as the basic source material, but secular and often local subjects were used too, invariably with a strong emphasis on the allegorical and symbolic, and music often had an important role.

Early examples of Jesuit drama with music are recorded from the Low Countries (Josephus by Georg Maropedius, given in 1544 in Antwerp and published in Utrecht, 1552–3), Spain (...

Article

Sisters Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele (b Keaukaha, HI, 14 Sept 1937), writer, teacher, and producer, and Nalani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele (b Hawaii, 19 March 1946), choreographer and teacher, are the daughters of Edith Kanaka‘ole, famed chanter and kumu hula (master teacher) of Hilo, Hawaii. After Edith’s death in 1979, they inherited her hula school, Halau o Kekuhi, and became respected elders and teachers in their own right. The sisters continue the legacy of their mother by preserving ancient practices while incorporating innovations into their hula presentations. They codirected and coproduced the hula drama, Holo Mai Pele, the epic tale of the goddess of fire, Pele, and Hi‘iaka, the patron goddess of hula dancers. The production blends traditional hula and oli (chant) with narration and modern stagecraft into a theatrical performance. Pualani and Nalani have created other experimental hula performances that utilize new or non-Hawaiian influences, while maintaining a strong classical hula tradition....

Article

Rebecca Schwartz-Bishir

(b Austin, TX, May 16, 1963). American dance critic. She studied ballet while growing up before earning a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Early in her career she worked for the Buffalo News, the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and for English-language journals in Munich, Germany. She freelanced for the Washington Post until 1996, when she succeeded Alan Kriegsman, the Post’s long-time writer and the first dance critic to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Kaufman’s writing about dance has earned her notice, including the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Award for Arts and Entertainment Reporting (2001), and the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism (2010). She has covered such diverse subjects as George Balanchine and Michael Jackson, and she has examined dance in ballets, film, popular culture, and everyday life. In July 2000 she broke the story that works by Martha Graham may not have copyright protection. Kaufman’s style blends acute description and historical savvy with fearless wit. She explains the hard truths and beautiful meanings of the art of movement....

Article

(b Providence, RI, April 28, 1937). Scholar of American dance and dance music. After studies at the Hartford Conservatory of Music, she was awarded the BA in music from Vassar College in 1959, the same year she married Robert Monteith Keller (b 1934). Keller’s interest in colonial-era dance began during the time of the Bicentennial celebrations in the mid-1970s. She and her family were living in a former tavern in Coventry, Connecticut—built in 1801—that had a 42-foot ballroom on the second floor, which was open to the public during the Bicentennial festivities in the town. Curious about what kind of dances had been held there, she and her husband began a quest to bring early American dance back to life. (Her husband has aided her in her research since that time, especially in the area of data management.)

Keller was the first scholar to thoroughly and systematically investigate American dance music of the colonial era and early Republic. She compiled a comprehensive database of dance tunes of American (and many foreign) sources from the 18th century, with Carolyn Rabson, which resulted in the ...

Article

Konpa  

Rebecca Dirksen

A popular dance music genre that rose to prominence in Haiti during the mid-1950s and which remains at the forefront of the Haitian music scene, both in Haiti and in the Haitian diaspora. There are two conflicting theories of the genre’s origins. Some scholars explain that konpa was adapted from the merengue típico from the Cibão region of the Dominican Republic. Others locate its roots in the Haitian folkloric music that includes the contredanse, quadrille, and menuet of European origin, in addition to the rada, kongo (also, congo), and petwo (also, pétro) rhythms that have provenance in Africa.

Early ensembles typically comprised vocals, saxophones, accordion, acoustic guitar, string bass, drum set, and various percussion instruments. From the 1960s, band composition decreased in size and shifted to include more electronic instruments (guitar, bass, and synthesizers). During the 1970s, konpa bands began widely incorporating trumpets, trombones, and congas or tambou...

Article

Kvaethi  

Article

Paul R. Laird

[Lichtman, Joseph ]

(b Brooklyn, NY, May 3, 1931; d Key West, FL, May 5, 1994). American dancer, choreographer, and director. Layton joined the dancing chorus of Oklahoma! in 1947, followed by appearances as a dancer in such shows as High Button Shoes (1947), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), Miss Liberty (1949), and Wonderful Town (1953). While in the army in the early 1950s, Layton started to choreograph and direct. He spent two years in the mid-1950s in France as a dancer and choreographer with the Ballet Ho de George Reich. Returning to the United States in 1956, Layton was a featured dancer in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s televised Cinderella (1957) and worked in summer stock. His New York choreography debut was an off-Broadway revival of On the Town (1959). Layton choreographed Once Upon a Mattress off-Broadway and then on Broadway and in London, and continued his work on Broadway with dances for ...

Article

Edward A. Langhans and Robert E. Benson

Edward A. Langhans and Robert E. Benson

Modern assumptions – that an audience usually sits in a darkened auditorium watching a brightly lit stage – apply only since the late 19th century. Before then, the audience normally sat in a house that was dimly lit, peering at a dimly lit stage, and earlier still spectators needed individual candles in the light of which they could read their librettos (or other literature). Period prints showing brilliantly illuminated stages and auditoriums are misleading. It has been estimated that at Drury Lane Theatre in London during the 17th and 18th centuries there may have been about 88 candles in the auditorium, giving a total illumination approximately equivalent to one 75-watt lamp.

When Renaissance theatrical performances began to take place indoors, in academies and palace banquet halls in late 15th-century Italy, the illumination came from oil lamps and candles in chandeliers and sconces (and, if it was daylight outside, windows). Revived classical plays made use of the new Renaissance toy, perspective scenery. In his ...

Article

Liviana  

Article

Cedric Dent

Ring shout performers. The group formed in the Bolden community of McIntosh County on the coast of Georgia to promote the survival of the Ring shout —the oldest African American performance tradition in North America. The group performs after church worship services and on special occasions at a local church, Mt. Calvary Baptist. Because of space limitations in the sanctuary, an annex was built behind the church to accommodate performance of the ring shout, which employs call-and-response singing, percussive rhythm, and expressive and formalized dance-like movement in a counter-clockwise ring. Presumed to have died out in the 20th century, the tradition was rediscovered in 1980 when the group consented to perform at the Sea Island Festival on St. Simon’s Island in Glynn County, Georgia. The repertory is often Biblical in nature and consists of a special song type, at one time called a “running spiritual,” and believed to be a precursor to the Negro spiritual. In ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

[MO]

Wireless motion-capture devices and software components that combine to create gesture-operated musical instruments from practically any object. They are the result of a research project at the Institut de Recherce et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) involving NoDesign, a product design firm. The investigators include Nicolas Rasamimanana, Frederic Bevilacqua, Norbert Schnell, Fabrice Guedy, Emmanuel Flety, Come Maestracci, and Bruno Zamborlin of IRCAM and Jean-Louis Frechin and Uros Petrevski of NoDesign. The second generation of MO prototypes was created by DaFact, a MIDI firm based in Paris. The project won first place in the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition in 2012.

The components are designed to enable users to create novel instruments without knowledge of programming, engineering, or electronics. Software components include motion capture, gesture analysis and recognition, and real-time audio processing; these are integrated into Max/MSP (Max signal processing), an interactive data-flow environment for audio, visual, and graphic programming. Examples of desired gestures are recorded by the user for recognition by the system after a single training session. Gestures can be recognized using either discrete triggering or continuous control. Audio processing is provided by a set of synthesis and sound transformation modules that enable recorded sounds to be modified, for example using granular or phase vocoder techniques to alter some sound characteristics while preserving others, such as stretching a sound in time without changing pitch....

Article

Nigun  

(Heb.: ‘melody’; pl. nigunim

In the liturgical music of the Ashkenazi Jews, an early form of centonized chant, also known as nusa . Among the East European Ḥasidic Jews, the term refers to a type of vocal music, often sung to nonsense syllables and accompanied by dancing, of which one of the important forms is the ...

Article

David J. Hough

(b London, July 11, 1930; d Herefordshire, October 10, 2003). British designer . After studying with distinction at the Royal College of Art with Hugh Casson, she joined the BBC in 1955 as a television designer, remaining until 1967. She designed a number of distinguished theatre, ballet and opera productions between 1967 and 1988, including Yevgeny Onegin (1971), La bohème (1974; for illustration see) and Die Fledermaus (1977) for Covent Garden, and Arabella (1984) for Glyndebourne. International productions include Un ballo in maschera for the Hamburg Staatsoper (1973), Otello for the Royal Opera, Stockholm (1982), Die Csárdásfürstin for Kassel Opera (1983) and The Consul for Connecticut Opera (1985).

Oman was much admired by critics and audiences for the social and historical accuracy of her designs. Her costumes appeared as real clothes worn by real people, and her sets as places where people actually live, work and play. She stylishly and inventively combined the visually appealing with a particular care for detail that always served the dramatic needs of the work at hand. She was elected a Royal Designer for Industry (...

Article

Donna Lee Kwon

Originally from Korea, p’ungmul (wind object) is a vibrant form of percussion band music and dance that features the changgo (hourglass drum), the puk (barrel drum), the sogo (hand drum), the ching (large gong), and the kkwaenggwari (small gong). A complete ensemble also includes a double-reed instrument called the t’aep’yŏngso, flag bearers, and character actors called chapsaek. Based in agricultural village life, this music is also referred to as nongak (farmer’s music) and as such is recognized as Important Intangible Cultural Asset no.11 in South Korea. Led by the head kkwaenggwari player, a typical South Korean band ranges from thirty to fifty members, although similar bands in the United States or Canada are often smaller. A distinguishing feature of p’ungmul is the practice of playing the instruments while dancing in various formations. Although all of the members incorporate footwork and rhythmic up-and-down movements, some performers (usually the sogo players) specialize in acrobatic flip-turns and other dazzling moves. Colorful costumes consist of white shirts and pants, contrasting vests or jackets, and banners of red, blue, and yellow that hang over one shoulder and tie at the waist. Performers traditionally wear eye-catching headwear ranging from paper hats decorated with huge flowers to tight-fitting headpieces fitted with long ribbons that are twirled and flipped into a variety of spectacular patterns. According to native beliefs, ...

Article

Megan E. Hill

(b Ganghwa Island, South Korea, 1954). South Korean dancer, naturalized American. She was exposed to traditional Korean dance from a young age through the shamanistic Buddhist rituals that her family hosted when she was a child. At the age of four she moved with her family to the capital city of Seoul. From age six she was encouraged by her parents to study dance, and at age 13 she entered an art and performance school (kwonbon). She immigrated to the United States after she finished a tour there in 1981.

Park became involved with the Korean immigrant community in New York, including the Association for Korean Performing Arts. She later established a branch of the Korean Traditional Music Association in New York (1993) under the appellation Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association and founded Sounds of Korea, a performance group dedicated to preserving Korea’s traditional performing arts....