dance

Showing 52 posts tagged dance

Circus performer Angelica Bongiovonni rides a Cyr wheel in Cirque Éloize. According to their site, Bongiovonni is one of around 100 acrobats that practice the Cyr wheel in circuses, street performances, and performing art schools around the world. Regarding her first attempt at riding, she explains

It really wasn’t fun. [laughs] It’s kind of like learning how to walk again or ride a bike. It’s a really weird feeling and I just fell all the time. I had so many bruised hips and knees. I’d lose control of the wheel and almost hurt people in the studio. I actually hit myself in the face and got a huge busted lip… It takes hour and hours of practice…

There’s more practice and more tricks in the archives, including Selyna Bogino foot juggling five basketballs. Bonus spinning: camera on a hula hoop.

Every year, regardless of weather, the Westerly Morris Men celebrate the vernal equinox and the first day of spring with a pre-dawn hike up to the summit of Lantern Hill in North Stonington, Connecticut. There, they sing and dance to help the sun come up.

The hike and celebration is a 28 year tradition for this particular dance team, as captured above in 2012, but Morris dance, a form of English folk dance, dates back as early as 1448.

Watch a few more traditions, including our favorite spring tradition: this MGM Happy Harmonies cartoon from 1936, To Spring.

San Francisco’s Kei Lun Lion Dancers and their director Corey Chan are dedicated to telling stories that are thousands of years old. Though traditional dance, music, costume-making, and story translation, they hope to help preserve and pass on these ancient stories by performing them for younger generations. From KQED Arts:

In the traditional lion dance, props are used that represent different meanings. For example lettuce and tangerines, which are often hung for lion dancers to pluck (along with cash), represent prosperity; tangerines with stems represent the unity of the family. The props help tell the tale and present a puzzle the lion must solve for the dance to be successful. “The audience struggles with the lion,” says Chan. “Sometimes the lion looks so frustrated because it can’t do what it wants to do.” But his triumph, when it comes, is all the sweeter for the obstacles…

Though the dragon dance is more festive and less layered in meaning than the lion dance, the dragon has great significance in Chinese culture as well. “The dragon is the ultimate symbol of the Chinese people, who call themselves the descendants of the dragon,” Chan explains. “The ancients believed different dragons controlled rainfall and flooding; they brought life-giving rain to the crops which sustained a nation, or they caused the catastrophic floods that wiped out millions. No wonder dragons were considered the loftiest, most powerful and most fearsome of creatures.”

In the archives: another dragonmore storytelling and the influences of different cultures.

Some related favorites: The Last Ice Merchanta música portuguesa a gostar dela própria, and Māori dancers perform a Haka dance.