Taking a Look at Capoeira and Belly Dancing Essay

Taking a Look at Capoeira and Belly Dancing Essay

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Throughout history, dance has served as a form that performs and embodies the cultural values of the society it is in. The idea of dance varies within intellectual traditions and develops to a wider concept of movement practices within individual cultures. Dance can be looked upon as a culturally formed activity that offers information about human behavior in a certain society. Dance has also served to disrupt the cultural values in a society due to cultural evolution and cultural migration. The discipline in cultures function with a receptive approach to the exploitation of Western values. The West judges other cultures according to the standard of their own culture. Because of people’s ignorance regarding another culture’s traditions, religious beliefs and political status, divergent interpretations are formed about a dance that holds an indigenous meaning. Two styles of dance that reside in cultures are capoeira and belly dance.
With its extreme measure of acrobatics, kicks and traditional Kongo dance movements, capoeira’s cultural values started within a measure of playfulness. Before capoeira migrated to Western civilization, its value was high within itself. Capoeiristas all value the Afro-Brazilian art as an innocent piece. Capoeira is known as a humorous game, but is also considered a gestural art that tries to brink away from corruption and chaos. It is played seriously, but there is no winner and everyone is united all within the “protective circle,” the roda. The roda signifies togetherness with each other, while the purpose with the opponents is to out smart one another in their acrobatic stunts.
Capoeira was created in Brazil by African slaves. Taken from their homes against their will and kept in slav...


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...s not shown off and spread to other regions. It became popular because of its sensualness. In the United States, it seems that belly dancing is rare due to its perception of inappropriateness. In dance studios, they always teach ballet, modern, jazz and hip-hop. If belly dancing is flagged as inappropriate, what makes jazz and hip-hop ok? Although hip-hop is known for its baggy clothes and sneakers, the movements have changed from structured house dances to very provocative gestures. Jazz has evolved from jazz pants and tank tops to sports bras and booty shorts. The movements have changed from classical jazz to tricks and acrobatics. Belly dance, jazz and hip-hop all have stylistic movements. One cannot believe by just hearing from someone else. It seems that research is key. When looking at something unfamiliar, you have to open your mind and research.


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