Emotional Experience Of Dance

As events of life occurred, people would dance to celebrate, to appease their gods, and to announce a call to war. Whether it be with nothing other than a drum, or with the complicated musicality of a full orchestra, dance has been a part of human life throughout its history. Even in today’s life, weddings, schools, some churches, and crowds of people at music events, dance with the joy of the movement in their body. During the period of history that would be most often referred to as primitive, dance was considered a way to express and celebrate the events of life and community. As couples wed, sought to birth children, express their sorrow over death, prayed for a good harvest and release their anger over injustice, primitive cultures would use symbolic gestures accompanied by beats as a means to share those things with each other.
The earliest evidence of dance would come from paintings and pieces of art. According to James Redmond, in his book Dance, Dance, and Music, “many vase paintings are much earlier than the earliest possible dates for the beginning of organized dramatic performances at Athens and may, therefore, provide testimony to the character of the pre-dramatic activities which were to grow into fifth-century tragedy and comedy.” (p. 25) However, the earliest evidence of dance comes from the found part of a pre-historic man in the form of cave paintings. In a painting that is presumed to date from the Paleolithic period of 18,000 to 12,000 B.C., there is some suspected evidence of dance. This comes from “the human figure portrayed Trois Freres cave, often referred to as The Sorcerer.

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