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Elements of Dance

Elements of Dance
All dance shares three fundamental characteristics:

Space – the place through which a dancer moves.

Time – a measurable period during which movement or dance occurs; the passage of time is indicated in many ways ranging from complex rhythmic patterns to long, unbroken stillness.

Energy – the amount of intensity or force a dancer uses to execute a movement. Energy adds texture, weight and color to a dance.



Nai-Ni Chen’s choreography incorporates or is influenced by several dance styles: classical court dances, modern dance, folk dances, ethnic minority dance and ballet. See “Chinese Dance Today,” for information on these dance forms.

Many people are involved in the realization of a dance performance:

choreographer – a person who creates and often teaches, the movements of the dance and who decides upon the production elements, such as music, lighting, costumes, casting and overall design. composer – a person who writes music. The music may be written specifically for the dance piece or pre-exist and be selected by the choreographer. costume designer – a person who creates the clothing worn by dancers on stage during a performance. dance concert – a program of several dances, often choreographed by the same person, with each dance having its own choreography, costumes, lighting design and music. dancer – a person selected by the choreographer or artistic director of the company to perform the dance movements. Generally dancers have extensive training in one or more techniques before they perform in a professional company. lighting designer – a person who creates the illumination for a dance or theater piece. He or she watches the dances and speaks with the choreographer before creating the theatrical effects on stage.



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