12 July 2011

Art and Entertainment

In my dance studies, especially concerning my thesis and Isadora Duncan, there is always the discussion of dance's role in society. Is it art? Is it entertainment? Is it art inherently? Does it aspire to be art? What is dance? and what makes it art?

I really think that any blanket statements about anything are going to be intrinsically incorrect. And with dance, it gets rather sticky. If you ask a dancer, especially a professional dancer, it is art, if not Art! (The A makes a difference) It is dance by its intent, and it is art in its nature.  I personally, have a very different view. I believe it is dance in nature and art and/or entertainment by intent. Three-year-old's dancing does not constitute art, sometimes not even entertainment. Drill team and cheerleaders performing at halftime? It is entertainment -- their intent is to entertain the crowd while the players are otherwise occupied. Modern Dance, however, can often be found artistic, if so designed, but is it not also entertainment? Or can one not enjoy the piece, rendering it artistic without entertainment? And what of other dance? Could a kickline be artistic? Can there be artistry in the lines found in the bodies of the dancers? In the beauty of a well executed kick or leap?

But then we get into the quandary of not fulfilling your expectations or intent as a choreographer. The choreography could be artistic but executed so horribly that it is not artistic or entertaining, or entertaining in its lack of artistry! 

All growing up I danced because it was fun. I enjoyed it and it gave me a work out. And I enjoyed performing. I definitely considered myself a dancer, and in a broader sense, an entertainer. Then I got to college and apparently everything I ever attributed to dance was wrong. I'm not a dancer [said with disdain]; I'm an Artiste!  But I just don't buy it. Dance isn't about art for me (I acknowledge that it can be and is for others).  Dance is for fun!! 

I just wish that the Artistes could see it from my point of view, too. Why can't my dance be entertainment because I want it to be? Because, honestly, what they consider to be Art can often be found a bore!

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