By Margaret N. H'Doubler, Mary Alice Brennan
A landmark ebook in dance schooling is now again in print, its message as legitimate this present day because it used to be greater than fifty years in the past
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Additional resources for Dance: A Creative Art Experience
The Dance of Death motive was a very popular theme of the writings and art of this period. Its basic theme-the leveling process that makes all men equal-has continued through the Renaissance to our times, each age expressing it according to its own philosophy. The dancing mania that swept over Europe during and immediately after the Black Death was no new disease, but a phenomenon well known to the Middle Ages. Its appearance is thought to be due to a nervous disorder akin to imitative hysteria.
Thus dance may be considered a neural projection of inner XXXlll Copyrighted Material INTRODUCTION thought and feeling into movement, rhythm being the mold through which the creative life flows in giving its meaning form. The vitalizing and revitalizing effect of creative effort and production is the ultimate value of any creative art experience. Through creative experience one's acts come to have significance for the self, the basis of character. Dance in education does not exist just for the pleasure of dancing, but through creative effort in giving aesthetic forms to significant experience it is hoped students will develop their creative power and in turn improve themselves as persons.
Thus medieval culture exhibits a strange contrast between the chivalrous ideals of knighthood and the coarse, barbaric conditions of life that supported it. It probably was the expression of the latter in the dances and brawls of the lower classes that caused the church to put a ban on dancing except when it was used in the church as a rhythmic processional form. This attitude is further revealed in sacred music, which in no way permitted the use of rhythms that would set the feet in motion. But there is another side to medievalism.