By; Kristyn Blackwood
More and more movies are coming out these days that are beginning to incorporate the art of dance. Some examples of popular dance movies include all of the Step Up movies, Honey, Centerstage, Chicago, Hairspray, Stomp the Yard, and many more. There are so many more, and the reason they have become so popular is because people enjoy the entertainment of these mainstream types of dance films.
One of the least recognized forms of dance is modern/contemporary. Modern dance culture is seen as something fringy and decadent. It is mostly produced by African cultures today. “African modern and contemporary dance is like ‘Nature Dances,’” Kevin A. Ormsby, Toronto-based dancer/choreographer said. “Dance is merely an extension of the music from performer to the audience.” African culture audiences show their appreciation to the dancers by jumping up onstage and dancing along, that is where the “Nature Dance” comes from.
When it comes to our modern day world and society, the idea and respect of dance, as well as the dancers, has declined. “In the industrialized world, we’ve created societies that restrict all movement. We’re expected to sit still in from of a computer screen for hours and hours at a time, and the ‘better’ our lives get in material terms, the less and less we move,” Ormsby said. When asked how he feels about how all this restriction of movement effects the health of peoples’ bodies and minds he commented by saying, “Our sense of physicality changes. We don’t listen to our bodies, we listen to our minds because we’ve been trained to intellectualize.”
Dancers of today’s society are being criticized more than most of the arts. Culture dancers say either they are not cultured enough of they are not classical enough. Haitian dancer/choreographer, Jeanguy Saintus says, “People want to tell dancers how to interpret music and feelings.” Dancers are people who want to dance. Technique is easy. If they feel nothing, it’s not working. People are afraid to express themselves exactly as they feel and that is how dancers operate, but even dancers now do not believe in what they can do naturally. Jeanguy says, “The young dancers just want experience. They feel something. They want to express something, not just portray a technique.”
People today want the entertainment of dance, but are not respecting and supporting the dancers themselves. Entertainment is the hardest business in life to make a living out of. Artists have to be the best of the best of the best to get jobs and the media has begun to take advantage of that fact.