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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Anthropology and Folk Dance

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Dance is a performance art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value, and is acknowledged as dance by dancers, performers and observers within a particular culture. Dance can be categorized and described by its choreography, by its repertoire of movements, or by its historical period or place of origin.

Archaeological evidence for early dance includes 9,000-year-old paintings in India, and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures from around 3300 BCE. It has been proposed that before the invention of written languages, dance was an important part of the oral and performance methods of passing stories down from generation to generation. The use of dance in ecstatictrance states and healing rituals is thought to have been another early factor in the social development of dance.




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