Category Art

Which are old dance in the world?

For as long as there has been a beat there has been dance. Dance is one of the oldest forms of art. People dance to express themselves, for religious reasons, to celebrate their culture, to be with other people, for exercise, or just to have fun!

Religious dances are forms of prayer. Native Americans may dance to ask for help in hunting, farming, or war. They may imitate animals by moving like them or wearing masks. Folk dance celebrates a group’s history and traditions. Folk dancers may wear colourful costumes. Many folk dances are easy to learn. People may join hands or move in a circle. Other folk dances are full of energy and passion and the dancers must be very athletic.

We may go to a theatre to see dancers who have been specially trained to perform a kind of dance. Ballet is the oldest kind of dance performed in theatres. It began in the 1400’s at the courts of princes, dukes, and other rulers in what is now Italy. For hundreds of years, ballet dancers have made beautiful movements as they leap and twirl across the stage. Female ballet dancers, called ballerinas, dance on the tips of their toes in special shoes. Ballet movements are very difficult. But when they are done well, they look graceful and easy.

In the late 1800’s, some dancers thought that the movements in ballet were too unnatural. One of these rebels was an American dancer named Isadora Duncan. Instead of ballet steps, she made natural movements that imitated the wind and the waves. Her ideas inspired a new art form – modern dance. Several American women, including Martha Graham, continued Duncan’s work. Today, even ballet dancers borrow ideas from modern dance.

Another dance developed in the U.S.A. is tap. More than 100 years ago, African Americans combined steps from African dances, the Irish jig, and a British dance called the clog. The first “theatres” for tap dancers were taverns and street corners. But by 1870, the dancers were tapping onstage.

The musical is another mostly American form of theatre dance. It tells a story through songs and dance. The dancing may have a beat, like tap, or it may move like ballet. The American film Singin’ in the Rain, for instance, features dancing that combine parts of ballet, jazz, modern dance, and tap.

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What is mime acting?

Could you put on a play without saying a word? It might seem impossible. But actors have been performing plays without words for hundreds of years. Acting without speaking is called mime.

Actors who mime a story must use their actions to make it clear who they are, how they feel, and what they are doing. Mimes have no scenery or words to help them. They show what is happening by moving their body and making faces.

Clowns also perform without speaking. But unlike mimes, clowns get help from props. For example, one clown may throw a pie at another clown to show anger. Another may pour water over his own head to make people laugh.

Clowns also use makeup to show who they are and how they feel. No two clowns paint their face in exactly the same way. Some have big smiles painted on. Others look sad and foolish – as if disaster is just around the corner.

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How does a puppet work?

What kind of performer never needs to know what he or she is going to do or say? A puppet. Although a puppet does not need a script, the puppeteer does. The puppeteer is the person who works the puppet.

Many puppets are hand puppets. One kind of hand puppet is called a glove puppet. It has a head attached to a mitten-like upper body. The puppeteer’s hand fits inside the glove. The puppeteer’s thumb and fingers move the puppet’s arms and head.

A marionette has a whole body, including legs. Most marionettes are moved by strings that run from their head, shoulders, hands, and knees up to the control – a small wooden frame. Puppeteers hide backstage and work the marionettes by moving the controls from above.

Puppeteers work rod puppets by moving rods or sticks. A rod puppet can be just a head mounted on a stick. Or it may have a complete body with movable body parts.

In Japan, rod puppets are used in a form of puppet show called bunraku, or doll theatre. A bunraku puppet has joints that move. Its eyes, mouth, and even its eyebrows move, too. In other parts of Asia, rod puppets perform shadow plays. Strong lights from above and behind cast the puppets’ shadows on a cloth screen. The puppets in these shadow plays are often made of leather. In China and Turkey, leather puppets are dyed, and they cast coloured shadows.

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What is the real story behind Peter Pan?

The play Peter Pan tells a story about a boy who refuses to grow up. The story sounds like make-believe. But many people believe that British playwright Sir James M. Barrie wrote the play about a real person.

Some say Barrie modelled Peter Pan after himself! Only 1.6 metres tall, Barrie always related well to children. As an 11-year-old friend told him: “You’re old, but you’re not grown-up. You’re one of us”.

Barrie said that Peter Pan was based on five boys – George, John, Peter, Michael, and Nico Davies. Barrie met their mother at a dinner party and soon became friends with her sons. Barrie told the brothers that Peter Pan came from “the spark I got from you”.

But Barrie wrote about boys who never grew up long before Peter Pan appeared on stage in 1904, and long before he met the Davies family. The idea may have come from his older brother.

Tall and strong, Barrie’s big brother David was everything James wanted to be. But on the day before David’s 14th birthday, he died in an accident. Later, James wrote: “When I became a man, [David] was still a boy of 13”.

Barrie lived to be 77. Throughout his long life, he wrote fondly of people who, like David, never grew up.

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What is an African folk-tale?

Stage an African Folk-Tale

Here’s a play made from a folk tale of the Hausa people in Africa. Sadiki is a young Hausa man who was kidnapped by enemies and forced to do chores in their village. He manages to escape with his only possessions – a goat, a leopard, and a yam.

Ask friends to join you and pick characters. Take turns reading the lines of the play.

Cast of Characters: Sadiki, Yam, Goat, Leopard

Setting: A river flows centre stage. A jungle grows on either bank. To the left, a canoe rests near a large rock.

Time: Before breakfast

(The yam rolls to the edge of the river. The leopard leaps on stage followed by Sadiki. The goat ambles in.)

Sadiki: (resting on the rock and looking nervous) The sun is up. Soon the villagers will be looking for me.

Goat: But Boss, now you are free and ready to start anew.

Yam: With a yam, a goat, and a leopard. What more could you ask, Boss?

Goat: We need a better head start on the villagers who are after us. Let’s board this canoe and put the river between us and them.

Goat: (studying the canoe) This small canoe can carry only two of us.

Yam: (fearfully) Boss must paddle, so only one of us can go with him.

Sadiki: I shall simply cross the river several times. Will you be first to cross, Yam?

Goat: Oh no, Boss! Then I will be left alone with the leopard, and she will surely eat me.

Sadiki: So the leopard should go first.

Yam: Oh, no, Boss. Then I will be left alone with the goat, and he will surely eat me.

Sadiki: So the goat goes first.

(Sadiki and the goat cross the river.)

Yam: (eyeing the leopard) How hungry are you?

Leopard: (disdainfully) Silly Yam! Vegetables are for goats.

(Sadiki returns.)

Sadiki: Your turn, Yam.

Yam: (hysterically) Oh, no, Boss! When you return for the leopard, I will be alone with the goat on the other side of the river, and he will eat me.

Sadiki: (as they cross the river) Don’t worry, Yam. I have a plan.

Goat: (licking his chops) Good choice, Boss.

Sadiki: You sly goat, get in the canoe.

(Sadiki and the goat return to the left bank. Sadiki leads the goat out of the canoe.)

Leopard: Yum, here comes my lunch.

Sadiki: Your turn to get in the boat, Leopard.

(The leopard joins the yam on the other side of the river as Sadiki returns a fourth time for the goat.)

Leopard: So Boss worked out how to keep you safe and me hungry.

Yam: (smugly) Planning keeps people the masters and us their servants.

Picture Credit : Google

How do Actors make a clown face with makeup?

Making Faces

A clown in baggy trousers with a big red nose runs onstage and waves to the crowd. The crowd is already giggling. Just looking at the clown’s funny face makes people laugh.

Clowns use makeup to create their funny faces. Actors use makeup, too. The audience can see actors’ faces more clearly when the actors wear makeup. Also, makeup can change an actor’s face. For example, dark lines and white hair can make an actor look old. Green makeup can make an actor look sick or ghostly.

Some women wear makeup called cosmetics because they think it makes them look pretty. But clowns and actors use special makeup called grease paint. Grease paints are thick, solid sticks of coloured makeup. When an actor has finished making up, he or she sprinkles the makeup with powder so that the grease paint won’t smear. After the performance, actors wipe off the grease paint with an oily makeup remover.

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How do you put on a play?

What does a world-famous theatre look like? To find out, let’s go to Milan, Italy, to visit La Scala, where some of the most famous operas were first performed. It is a theatre built for a type of play called opera. In Western opera, the actors sing their lines.

What happens at theatres before the opening of a play? The cast has lots to do as it prepares for its big night.

The actors memorize their lines. They also memorize as many lines of the other characters as possible. This helps them to recognize their cues. Cues are the last words spoken by another character before an actor says his or her line.

At the first rehearsal, the director blocks, or plans every movement the actors will make on stage. The director also shows the actors how to move and where to stand.

At dress rehearsal, or the last day of practice, the stagehands set up all the scenery. The actors put on their makeup and costumes. The play manager gets programmes, tickets, and everything else ready for opening night.

On opening night, all the actors practise their lines without scripts. Then they go on stage and perform for the audience.

What are the most famous Theatres around the world?

People all around the world love going to the theatre. Most big cities have many theatre buildings. To many people, “American theatre” means whatever is playing in New York City’s Broadway district. London’s Royal Ballet and Royal National Theatre feature some of the world’s best dancers, directors, and actors. And the Comedie-Francaise in Paris, France is one of the world’s oldest theatres still in use.

All these cities offer Western theatre – a style of storytelling that began in early Greece. Stories of comedy and tragedy came from the ancient Greeks. Comedies are funny. Tragedies are sad. Western theatre also followed the Greek custom of dividing stories into parts called acts.

Theatre from the eastern part of the world, such as from Asia, is very different and tells stories in other ways.

Theatre in India goes back about 2,000 years. Stories told in Indian theatres are like long poems. And all Indian plays have happy endings.

Chinese theatre is about 800 years old. The most popular form of play is Peking opera (also called Beijing opera). Its plays are based on Chinese stories, history, and folklore. Actors may change or make up their lines as they go along.

The stage in Peking opera looks bare compared to Western stages. Often special props – the objects that the actors use on stage – are the only clues to where a play takes place. For example, if an actor carries a whip, the audience knows he is outdoors riding a horse.

Also, the actors are never the only ones onstage. Musicians and prop people stay on the stage during the performance, but the actors and audience pretend they are invisible.

In Japan, the oldest form of drama is the noh play. It includes drama, dance, song, and choruses – groups of actors speaking lines together. Men play both male and female parts. The actors with female roles wear masks. Unlike the plays of Peking Opera, every detail in a noh play is traditional – and never changed.

The most popular kind of theatre in Japan today is Kabuki. Female dancers acted out the earliest Kabuki plays. But later on, men played all the parts. Kabuki plays are something like noh plays, but Kabuki theatre has colourful scenery and more exciting stories.

Picture Credit : Google

What is Theatre?



We find our seats in the theatre. The lights dim, the audience hushes, and the curtains draw slowly back. It’s show-time!

The show might be a play, a dance, a musical comedy, or any of the other kinds of stories performed on stage. It can make us laugh, surprise us, or even make us cry.

No one knows for sure how the kinds of shows we see at the theatre began. But nearly every country has had some form of theatre. Most likely, theatre began with people’s love of story-telling. Early hunters probably gathered around the evening fire and told about the day’s adventures. Later these stories grew into plays, songs, and dances.

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What is the true story of the Pied Piper?

Long ago, thousands of rats invaded the German town of Hamelin. The rats were everywhere. They even swarmed into the houses. People could not move without touching a rat. Neither cats nor traps could destroy the swarm of rats.

One Friday, a piper wearing a many-coloured cloak came to town. “I can rid your town of rats,” the piper told the mayor.

“Then I will pay you one coin a head,” the mayor said.

As soon as the moon rose, the stranger started playing a haunting tune. Rats ran out of all the houses into the town square. The piper played a lively tune and led the rats to the nearby Weser River. The rats rushed to the water and jumped right in.

“Pay me,” the piper said to the mayor on Saturday morning. “Nine hundred and ninety thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine rats drowned in the river. You owe me one coin a head.”

“Let us count the heads first,” the mayor said.

“If you want the heads,” the piper cried, “fetch them from the river.”

“By rights, we can refuse to pay you anything,” the mayor answered.

“If you do not pay me, your children will,” said the piper.

“Collect from our children?” the townspeople jeered. “How cleverly the mayor has tricked the piper!”

On Sunday, after the townspeople returned from church, they looked all around for their sons and daughters. “Where can they be?” the people asked.

In all of Hamelin, only one lame boy remained. “The piper played a haunting tune, and the children followed him out of town,” the boy told the parents. “That nearby hill opened wide, and they marched right in. By the time I reached the hill, the opening had closed.”

The parents ran out of town with axes and hammers. They tried but failed to open up the hill that had swallowed their children. Most miserable of all was the mayor. He had lost three boys and two girls.

“The mayor should have paid the piper,” the townspeople moaned. “How could we think he was clever? He is the biggest fool of us all!”

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