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Adrienne L. Kaeppler

Subject Communication Studies » Visual and Non-verbal Communication
Cultural Studies » Culture

Key-Topics music

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Dance is a complex visual form that communicates through movement in time and space, often in conjunction with music and poetry. Dances convey →  meaning through culturally understood conventions within social contexts (→  Culture: Definitions and Concepts ; Symbolic Interaction ; Visual Communication ). Dances are produced as a result of creative processes that move human bodies through time and in spatial layouts. They are transient in performance, visual manifestations of socio-political relations, and may be the subject of an elaborate →  aesthetic system. Often the process of performing is as important as the cultural form produced. Dances and dancing are surface manifestations of the deep structure or underlying philosophy of a society. That is, as presentations for an audience, dances may be admired as art or work; they may be participatory and enjoyed as entertainment, they may make political or social statements, they may bring religious ecstasy or trance, or they may be performed as a social duty (→  Art as Communication ). It is misleading to assume that dance is a universal language, as many have done in the past. Except on a most superficial level, dance cannot be understood or communicated cross-culturally without an understanding of the individual dance traditions within a culture (→  Ethnography of Communication ). However, some dance types, such as ballet and ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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