The Importance of Repetition: Dance and Culture

Kaus Sarkar, Ph.D., Dance, UNC Charlotte

Have you ever wondered why dancers achieve aesthetic excellence? It is due to their dedication to their craft. Practicing entails repeating the same movement again and again with more information. Dance does not happen in a vacuum. It encompasses text, music, history, social norms, cultural contexts, and politics. A dancer cycles through a repetitive process of incorporating various theoretical and practical inputs towards greater clarity and precision. Such an iterative process is an excellent life lesson to achieve perfection, steadiness of purpose, strength, and resilience. If you are excited about these parameters, this seminar is for you as you will learn how different cultures achieve such aesthetic dimensions through movement.

The goal of this seminar is to provide a basic understanding of practice through dance across various historical, cultural, sociopolitical, and religious contexts and to explore how we use repetition in our everyday lives. We will start with an introduction to the definition of dance as movement. We will then explore how dance hones energy and how this energy is generated, manifested, and conserved across different cultural contexts. We will cover Asian, African, Australian, American, and European dances noting their energetic dimensions and emphasizing upon the culturally situated definitions of repetition and practice. Throughout this seminar, we will conduct hands-on experiments that will help us understand embodied repetition. This seminar is appropriate for all teachers in grades K-12 and reiterates the importance of practice for success.