Among all forms of art, dance is unique in its own way. As compared to the other forms, dance is a performance art form, which consists of special selected sequences of human movement. The movement itself has both aesthetic and symbolic value. What categorize dance comes from historical period and place of origin. Furthermore, dance has two special categories: theatrical and participatory.
Though the two categories are not totally separated, however they both have different functions. The theoretical dance is usually a performance upon the stage. It tells a story, using mime, costumes, and scenery. Typical examples of theatrical dance are the western ballet, modern dance, classical Indian dance, and Chinese and Japanese drama dances. On the other hand, participatory dance is undertakes for a common purpose, such as social interaction or exercise. Examples include folk dance, social dance, and a group dance. Unlike the theatrical dance, participatory dance does not include narrative sometimes.
Some archeologists say that the origins of dance come from 9000-year-old paintings, where there is depicted dancing figures. Moving forward, it is also believed that before the invention of written languages, dance was the means of telling stories and transferring them from generation to generation. In additions, the existence of dance comes from Biblical references and Greek philosophers, such as Aristotle, Plato, Plutarch and Lucian.
Dance has its relations with rhythm and music as well. Many forms of music were created especially for dance, and vice verse. Furthermore, Ted Shawn, an American composer, once said about the link between dance and rhythm: “The conception of rhythm which underlies all studies of the dance is something about which we could talk forever, and still not finish.” Dance also is a great way of expressing feelings and emotions, when words sometimes fail to describe. It is important to know that dance is not just a physical exercise, but a form of utterance, to say what is inexplicable with words.