I have been asked about this question quite a bit, so I want to make a brief answer to it.
It depends on what you think social dances are — do you think the modern modern social dancers are dancing in a social context? Well, a lot of them do, but I don’t personally think that modern social dances should be performed in a social environment, because that would require everyone in the audience to be paying too much attention because of the social context.
I would not call it an expression of personal freedom, but I would call it just another thing that we know how to do in general and are able to do better with that kind of performance. It’s a really fine example of a performance to have that happen without a lot of people paying much attention. I don’t know if they’re doing it well, but I would see it as a great achievement that we are able to do that and the dance form itself is doing well, so I don’t think that it should be treated as a social dance anymore, because the performance itself is about freedom and human rights.
What other contemporary dances have you felt a kinship to?
There have definitely been some. For instance, it’s very important for us, after all the history of the dance form, and our role in the dance form and its history as well, to be able to be connected to other traditions of dance and music, so that we can learn from other traditions.
There are also different kinds of modern art forms that are very important for us as well. I think that there is no question that if you look at what goes into the creation of the art form itself — when you create music, for instance, or when you create a painting, or when you create a dance — the quality is very important. Art is not just a collection of objects. In order for the art to be the best, it needs to be the best in every respect. That has been our philosophy and we have tried to apply it in our musical and visual art. If it makes sense, we will keep that in mind while we create and make our visual art.
Is it true that you were part of the original formation of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” in 1930?
Yes, yes; actually I was one of the ones who helped to develop the original idea, by myself, of Stravinsky, that this idea of making a very different kind of sound through the same instrument is the
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