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Given this alternation of left-right, of forward-backward and rise-fall, along with the bilateral symmetry of the human body, it is natural that many dances and much music are in duple and quadruple meter.However, since some such movements require more time in one phase than the other – such as the longer time required to lift a hammer than to strike – some dance rhythms fall equally naturally into triple metre.
The American dancer Ted Shawn wrote; "The conception of rhythm which underlies all studies of the dance is something about which we could talk forever, and still not finish." A musical rhythm requires two main elements; first, a regularly-repeating pulse (also called the "beat" or "tactus") that establishes the tempo and, second, a pattern of accents and rests that establishes the character of the metre or basic rhythmic pattern.
The basic pulse is roughly equal in duration to a simple step or gesture.
It often tells a story, perhaps using mime, costume and scenery, or else it may simply interpret the musical accompaniment, which is often specially composed.
Examples are western ballet and modern dance, Classical Indian dance and Chinese and Japanese song and dance dramas.
Bharata Muni's Natyashastra (literally "the text of dramaturgy") is one of the earlier texts.
It mainly deals with drama, in which dance plays an important part in Indian culture.
Lululaund – The Dancing Girl (painting and silk cloth. Shawn concurs, stating that dance "was the first art of the human race, and the matrix out of which all other arts grew" and that even the "metre in our poetry today is a result of the accents necessitated by body movement, as the dancing and reciting were performed simultaneously" – an assertion somewhat supported by the common use of the term "foot" to describe the fundamental rhythmic units of poetry.
Scholes, not a dancer but a musician, offers support for this view, stating that the steady measures of music, of two, three or four beats to the bar, its equal and balanced phrases, regular cadences, contrasts and repetitions, may all be attributed to the "incalculable" influence of dance upon music.
Dance is a performing art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement.
This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value, and is acknowledged as dance by performers and observers within a particular culture.