En este vídeo os traigo la lectura del breve relato titulado El libro espejo, del escritor Luis Morales. Los libros son como seres durmientes a la espera de una mano curiosa que los abra y deje entrar la luz en sus profundidades inexploradas.
El libro espejo, un cuento Luis Morales
Primero arrancábamos las páginas, jugábamos a dispersar el conocimiento, hacíamos bolas de papel que lanzábamos alegres y poderosos al suelo igual que pequeños dioses al principio de la creación, o separábamos siempre las cubiertas de nuestros iniciáticos (y acaso más bellos) cuentos, aquellos en los que Alí Babá se resumía en el «ábrete sésamo» y Caperucita Roja era toda ojos y toda dientes de lobo malo.
Más tarde empezamos a fijarnos en las imágenes y descubrimos que el universo podía ser icónico, colorista, cromático, gigantesco. Llamamos a la puerta de los castillos y subimos por el tallo de las habichuelas, nos pusimos las botas y tocamos la luna.
Poco a poco, letra a letra, fuimos conociendo el significado de aquellos regueros extraños que mamá señalaba en los libros mientras nos contaba historias mágicas. Algo hizo clic. Nos transformamos en mariposas, con autonomía para volar. Poco a poco, letra a letra, tomamos el control de nuestros pasos. Nos esperaba un nuevo mundo. Habíamos aprendido a leer.
Recordamos haber utilizado largas tardes de verano buscando tesoros, atravesando selvas, descubriendo el océano o el centro de la tierra. Recordamos haber conocido la alegría y el odio y el amor y el humor y el miedo. De haberlos reconocido en esa pila de páginas reflectantes. Sentados frente al libro que nos leía por dentro.
Cuando llegó el tiempo de las preguntas, encontramos nuestros propios guardianes entre el centeno y nuestros budas y nuestros lobos esteparios. También (por suerte o infortunio) nos impusieron algún clásico. Para muchos no fue del todo llevadero. Las mariposas a veces se desorientan ante el exceso de estímulos externos.
Pero lo más curioso es que algunos de nosotros empezamos a recorrer el camino inverso. Mirábamos el espejo, las páginas escritas, con aire interrogador, y las doblábamos, arañábamos, subrayábamos, buscando algún resquicio que descubriera la urdimbre, el artificio. Y atravesamos al fin el espejo cuando nos atrevimos a tomar un papel, un lápiz, un viejo cuaderno, o abrimos un nuevo documento de Word, y empezamos a escribir, también nosotros, nuevas historias.
In modern society, radios are common technology in the car and in the home. In fact, in today’s world one would be hard pressed to find anyone who has not heard of, seen, or used a radio during his or her life, regardless of how old or young they may be. This was not always the case, however. Before the 19th century, wireless radio communication in everyday life was a thing of fantasy. Even after the development of the radio in the late 1800s, it took many years before radios went mainstream and became a household fixture. The history of the radio is a fascinating one that changed how the world connected and communicated from distances both far and near.
While the radio enjoys a long and interesting history, its earliest beginnings are still quite controversial. There’s some debate as to who actually invented the radio. While we may not know with certainty who put together the first radio device, we do know that in 1893 the inventor Nikolai Tesla demonstrated a wireless radio in St. Louis, Missouri. Despite this demonstration, Guglielmo Marconi is the person most often credited as the father and inventor of the radio. It was Marconi that was awarded the very first wireless telegraphy patent in England in the year 1896, securing his spot in radio’s history. A year later, however, Tesla filed for patents for his basic radio in the United States. His patent request was granted in 1900, four full years after Marconi’s patent was awarded. Regardless of who created the very first radio, on December 12, 1901, Marconi’s place in history was forever sealed when he became the first person to transmit signals across the Atlantic Ocean.
Before and During World War I
Prior to the 1920s, the radio was primarily used to contact ships that were out at sea. Radio communications were not very clear, so operators typically relied on the use of Morse code messages. This was of great benefit to vessels in the water, particularly during emergency situations. With World War I, the importance of the radio became apparent and its usefulness increased significantly. During the war, the military used it almost exclusively and it became an invaluable tool in sending and receiving messages to the armed forces in real time, without the need for a physical messenger.
Radio and the 1920s
In the 1920s, following the war, civilians began to purchase radios for private use. Across the U.S. and Europe, broadcasting stations such as KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and England’s British Broadcasting Company (BBC) began to surface. In 1920, the Westinghouse Company applied for and received a commercial radio license which allowed for the creation of KDKA. KDKA would then become the first radio station officially licensed by the government. It was also Westinghouse which first began advertising the sale of radios to the public. While manufactured radios were finding their way into the mainstream, home-built radio receivers were a solution for some households. This began to create a problem for the manufacturers who were selling pre-made units. As a result, the Radio Corporation Agreements, RCA, was sanctioned by the government. Under RCA, certain companies could make receivers, while other companies were approved to make transmitters. Only one company, AT&T, was able to toll and chain broadcast. It was AT&T that, in 1923, released the first radio advertisement. In the late 20s, CBS and NBC were created in response to AT&T being the sole station with rights to toll broadcasting.
In Britain, radio broadcasts began in 1922 with the British Broadcasting Company, or BBC, in London. The broadcasts quickly spread across the UK but failed to usurp newspapers until 1926 when the newspapers went on strike. At this point the radio and the BBC became the leading source of information for the public. In both the U.S. and the U.K. it also became a source of entertainment in which gathering in front of the radio as a family became a common occurrence in many households.
World War II and Changes Following the War
During World War II, the radio once again fulfilled an important role for both the U.S. and the U.K. With the help of journalists, radio relayed news of the war to the public. It was also a rallying source and was used by the government to gain public support for the war. In the U.K. it became the primary source of information after the shut-down of television stations. The way in which radio was used also changed the world after World War II. While radio had previously been a source of entertainment in the form of serial programs, after the war it began to focus more on playing the music of the time. The «Top-40» in music became popular during this period and the target audience went from families to pre-teens up to adults in their mid-thirties. Music and radio continued to rise in popularity until they became synonymous with one another. FM radio stations began to overtake the original AM stations, and new forms of music, such as rock and roll, began to emerge.
The Present and Future of Radio
Today, radio has become much more than Tesla or Marconi could have ever imagined. Traditional radios and radio broadcasting have become a thing of the past. Instead, radio has steadily evolved to keep up with current technology, with satellite and streaming internet stations gaining popularity. Radios are found not only in homes, but they are also a staple in vehicles. In addition to music, radio talk shows have also become a popular option for many. On the two-way radios front, newer digital two-way radios allow for one-to-one communication that is typically encrypted for improved security. Short-range radios have improved communications at worksites and handheld radios have become essential in sports, television production and even commercial airline operations.
Think about radio, and what often comes to mind is the crystal clear music and spoken words broadcast by FM stations across America. But radio wasn’t always so advanced — or so popular. Like many technologies, it evolved gradually and gained acceptance slowly. Today, radio continues to evolve as it competes with other technologies to attract and hold an audience.
The first steps toward inventing radio involved discovering electromagnetic waves and their potential. Hans Christian Oersted was the first to proclaim, in 1820, that a magnetic field is created around a wire that has a current running through it. In 1830, English physicist Michael Faraday confirmed Oersted’s theory, and established the principle of electromagnetic induction.
In 1864, James Clerk Maxwell, an experimental physics professor at Cambridge University, published a theoretical paper stating that electromagnetic currents could be perceived at a distance. Maxwell also boldly postulated that such waves travelled at the speed of light. In the late 1880s, German physicist Heinrich Hertz tested Maxwell’s theory. He succeeded in producing electromagnetic waves, and confirmed Maxwell’s prediction about their speed.
Not long after, Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, brought electromagnetic waves out of the laboratory and into the world.
He began with short-distance broadcasts in his own back yard. In September, 1899, he astounded the world by telegraphing the results of the America’s Cup yacht races from a ship at sea to a land-based station in New York. By the end of 1901, Marconi had founded his own commercial wireless company and broadcast the first transatlantic signal.
For a time, wireless broadcasts were limited to coded dots and dashes. But on December 24, 1906, Canadian-born physicist Reginald Fessenden changed that by sending the first long-distance transmission of human voice and music from his station at Brant Rock, Massachusetts. His signal was received as far away as Norfolk, Virginia. The stage for commercial voice and music broadcasts was set.
A steady stream of inventions pushed radio forward. In 1907, American inventor Lee De Forest introduced his patented Audion signal detector–which allowed radio frequency signals to be amplified dramatically. Another American inventor, Edwin Armstrong, developed the superheterodyne circuit in 1918, and in 1933 discovered how FM broadcasts could be produced. FM provided a clearer broadcast signal than AM, but RCA’s top executive, David Sarnoff, was pushing for the development of television. Sarnoff withheld FM from the public for more than a decade.
Still, the public demand for radio grew exponentially. Entertainment broadcasting began in about 1910, and included De Forest’s own program, which he aired from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. An entertainment broadcasting venture based in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, became the first commercial radio station, KDKA, in 1920. The station WWJ, in Detroit, Michigan, also one of the firsts, began commercial broadcasting in the same year. Among the early proponents of entertainment broadcasting was Sarnoff, who used radio to create corporate empires at RCA and NBC.
The period between the late 1920s and the early 1950s is considered the Golden Age of Radio, in which comedies, dramas, variety shows, game shows, and popular music shows drew millions of listeners across America. But in the 1950s, with the introduction of television, the Golden Age faded. Still, radio remained a pop-culture force. Developments like stereophonic broadcasting, which began in the 1960s, helped radio maintain its popularity.
Among contemporary developments in radio is Digital Audio Broadcasting, or DAB. In the works since the late 1980s, it had not received FCC approval as of early 1999. According to proponents, DAB provides compact disc-quality sound without interference at any distance. DAB listeners can also become watchers: information such as programming schedules, and traffic and weather information, can be digitally displayed–on stereo «monitors» or LCD screens.
Already more than 100 years old, radio is still a powerful force in American life. According to a 1998 Arbitron report, over 95 percent of Americans listen to radio at least once a week. And with new technologies like DAB, the humble radio wave will likely retain its power for some time to come.
Radio owes its development to two other inventions: the telegraph and the telephone. All three technologies are closely related, and radio technology actually began as «wireless telegraphy.»
The term «radio» can refer to either the electronic appliance that we listen with or to the content that plays from it. In any case, it all started with the discovery of radio waves—electromagnetic waves that have the capacity to transmit music, speech, pictures, and other data invisibly through the air. Many devices work by using electromagnetic waves, including radios, microwaves, cordless phones, remote controlled toys, televisions, and more.
The Roots of Radio
Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell first predicted the existence of radio waves in the 1860s. In 1886, German physicist Heinrich Rudolph Hertz demonstrated that rapid variations of electric current could be projected into space in the form of radio waves, similar to light waves and heat waves.
In 1866, Mahlon Loomis, an American dentist, successfully demonstrated «wireless telegraphy.» Loomis was able to make a meter connected to a kite cause a meter connected to another nearby kite to move. This marked the first known instance of wireless aerial communication.
But it was Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, who proved the feasibility of radio communication. He sent and received his first radio signal in Italy in 1895. In 1899, he flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel, and two years later received the letter «S,» which was telegraphed from England to Newfoundland (now part of Canada). This was the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph message.
In addition to Marconi, two of his contemporaries, Nikola Tesla and Nathan Stubblefield, took out patents for wireless radio transmitters. Nikola Tesla is now credited with being the first person to patent radio technology. The Supreme Court overturned Marconi’s patent in 1943 in favor of Tesla’s.
The Invention of Radiotelegraphy
Radiotelegraphy is the sending by radio waves of the same dot-dash message (Morse code) used by telegraphs. Transmitters, at the turn of the century, were known as spark-gap machines. They were developed mainly for ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. This form of radiotelegraphy allowed for simple communication between two points. However, it was not public radio broadcasting as we know it today.
The use of wireless signaling increased after it was proved to be effective in communication for rescue work at sea. Soon a number of ocean liners even installed wireless equipment. In 1899, the United States Army established wireless communications with a lightship off Fire Island, New York. Two years later, the Navy adopted a wireless system. Up until then, the Navy had been using visual signaling and homing pigeons for communication.
In 1901, radiotelegraph service was established between five Hawaiian Islands. In 1903, a Marconi station located in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, carried an exchange between President Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VII. In 1905, the naval battle of Port Arthur in the Russo-Japanese war was reported by wireless. And in 1906, the U.S. Weather Bureau experimented with radiotelegraphy to speed up notice of weather conditions.
Robert E. Peary, an arctic explorer, radiotelegraphed «I found the Pole» in 1909. A year later, Marconi established regular American-European radiotelegraph service, which several months later enabled an escaped British murderer to be apprehended on the high seas. In 1912, the first transpacific radiotelegraph service was established, linking San Francisco with Hawaii.
Meanwhile, overseas radiotelegraph service developed slowly, primarily because the initial radiotelegraph transmitter was unstable and caused a high amount of interference. The Alexanderson high-frequency alternator and the De Forest tube eventually resolved many of these early technical problems.
The Advent of Space Telegraphy
Lee de Forest was the inventor of space telegraphy, the triode amplifier, and the Audion, an amplifying vacuum tube. In the early 1900s, the development of radio was hampered by the lack of an efficient detector of electromagnetic radiation. It was De Forest who provided that detector. His invention made it possible to amplify the radio frequency signal picked up by antennae. This allowed for the use of much weaker signals than had previously been possible. De Forest was also the first person to use the word «radio.»
The result of Lee de Forest’s work was the invention of amplitude-modulated or AM radio, which allowed for a multitude of radio stations. It was a huge improvement over the earlier spark-gap transmitters.
True Broadcasting Begins
In 1915, speech was first transmitted by radio across the continent from New York City to San Francisco and across the Atlantic Ocean. Five years later, Westinghouse’s KDKA-Pittsburgh broadcasted the Harding-Cox election returns and began a daily schedule of radio programs. In 1927, commercial radiotelephony service linking North America and Europe was opened. In 1935, the first telephone call was made around the world using a combination of wire and radio circuits.
Edwin Howard Armstrong invented frequency-modulated or FM radio in 1933. FM improved the audio signal of radio by controlling the noise static caused by electrical equipment and the earth’s atmosphere. Until 1936, all American transatlantic telephone communication had to be routed through England. That year, a direct radiotelephone circuit was opened to Paris.
In 1965, the first Master FM Antenna system in the world, designed to allow individual FM stations to broadcast simultaneously from one source, was erected on the Empire State Building in New York City.
It is very easy in our very modern world where everything, such as entertainment, news and other informational content is just a few clicks away. In fact, the roots of information broadcast and making it public was laid by a massively impactful technology that is still actively used – radio.
For most of us, we are now confined to using the radio in the car when we are out and about without even thinking how old, reliable, and fundamental that technology is.
If you’ll look back at its history, you’ll realize how intense and eventful it is and that it took dozens of great minds to make the radio signal travel great distances.
In the following post, to help us all garner a greater appreciation for radio, we’re going to highlight some of the key ways radio has impacted humanity and look at some radio broadcasting facts that were key in the technology development.
When It All Began
There were several different inventors around in 1895 who could send electrical signals covering long distances. Guglielmo Marconi, however, is the name most associate with its invention.
Even if Tesla received a patent for his almighty radio later in 1943. Before it was used for entertainment purposes, radiotelegraphy was proving its worth in other ways in shipping. For instance, 711 survivors were saved when the Titanic crashed and sunk because other ships received its distress signals.
Full audio came to radios a little later, when the first commercial radio station opened in 1919 in The Netherlands. The rest of the world followed suit and stations were popping up everywhere during the 20s and 30s. This was ideal for delivering education, as college lectures and textbooks were previously the only way you could learn new things. Radio changed that by bringing education into people’s homes.
As a Social Medium
Before social media, the original social medium was radio. During the high points in its history, that is the 20s to 50s, more shows were broadcasted every week than ever before and it brought people together, whether it was to just listen and dance to music, listen to something funny, or a sports event broadcast.
During the Great Depression is a fine example of this, because even when people were very poor, they could still afford this form of entertainment.
It also had a profound impact on the music industry, as it meant people had access to a greater variety of music throughout the country and across the world. Much of the fame and popularity that recording artists such as Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald was down to the exposure they gained through the radio.
Even today, one of the best things about radio is that there are a wide variety of stations, often focused on one genre or even period, that not only allows the artists themselves to get exposure but allows listeners to enjoy their favorite types of music.
Radio became essential during World War II, as it was used to inform citizens about what was happening in the efforts of the Allied Forces. Interestingly It was both feared and loved in equal measures because the authorities used radio to promote their propaganda and scaremonger.
This in turn motivated people to set up their own pirate radio stations and broadcasts.
So, although television and the internet are now the main sources of entertainment and communication, it is important to realize that none of these other mediums would have been possible if the radio hadn’t been invented.
It paved the way for many of the technological advancements we see today and its fascinating that even though the internet has really brought us closer together, radio is still used, and people still engage with it and listen to it regularly. It leaves us wondering if the internet will maintain its popularity, prevalence, and relevance in the same way.
Radio stations play a critical role in modern society and form part of the critical communication channels that are used to consume information. Looking back to evolution, communication is one of the key ingredients that fueled our development. Through critical thinking, and exchange of information, we built societies, improved our standards of living, and even now as we speak, communication is facilitating the next invention.
Back to radio, you might be wondering why it holds any significance, well if you have any doubts, we hope to put them to rest by taking a look at the role it plays in modern society.
Importance of radio in society
A reasoning platform
Every day, hundreds of calls are made to radio stations, mainly to share ideas and contribute to nation-wide discussions. A lot of people listen to radio, primarily because it is affordable, hence making it the perfect platform to discuss pressing issues. It brings everyone together, both the young, old, poor, and rich. Everyone can share their opinions, and through that create understanding and tolerance among communities and individuals.
Education is the reason why you are reading this article on the internet. Through learning and research, humans have been able to make a lot of progress. Radio is one of the top places that people learn and get rid of ignorance. While not all radios are an education center, some of them make an effort to educate, especially on matters concerning society as a whole.
Entertainment is a part of every social group. It plays a key role in socializing and helps people find happiness, especially during hard times. By playing music, and talking about interesting topics, radios provide high-quality entertainment that is free of charge and fulfilling to the listeners.
The radio industry provides a lot of employment, helping people grow their careers and live a comfortable life. To ensure that people are useful members of society, it is crucial to avail jobs, and give them an opportunity to do their part in development. It is for this reason that radio is important, as it employs a lot of people.
I wanna see the world united and learn to live as one I wanna see the world united and learn to live as one I wanna see the world united and learn to live as one I wanna see the world united and learn to live as one
We have to bring the world together And learn to live as one We have to bring the world together And learn to live as one
We have to bring the world together We have to live as one We have to bring the world together We shall overcome
We have to live as one
This is the answer for the people Who lost their loved ones from war. This is the answer for the people Who lost their loved ones from hunger.
The moment is what counts Live smiling until the end But happy days will come That nobody can believe
It’s time to say, We are all one heart This song is of all of us So let’s sing it together in one big voice.
Lord of peace?.give us/bring us/gift us with peace
Words of Wonder
Now listen to me baby I keep it on so low And I whisper to you sister Now we’re all alone Take no notice of me baby Like a dream Gonna keep it quit So I can hear you scream Words of wonder Are the words I wanna hear
I’m sticking to you baby Until I arrive I’m half dead, a quarter alive A little bit is missing Wonder where it’s gone Pay me no attention I babble on and on Words, those words of wonder Are the words I wanna hear Those words, the words of wonder They are the words I wanna hear
Dripping from your lips Yeah, that’s the way it goes That’s the way it comes Ya’ know what I mean Now that your talkin’ to me baby Still you say that I’m obscene Words, words of wonder They are the words I wanna hear Words, those words of wonder Are the words I wanna hear
Let me roll it over baby Now I got to jam it up Make you weep and moan Go around the back baby And make yourself known The words, these are words of wonder These are the words you better learn These are words, these words of wonder These are words, you ought to know
You been talkin’ to me sweetie You know I babble on and on Ooh, I run away my tongue Giving thanks and praises Low friends in high places I’m gonna whisper these words of wonder
En este vídeo os traigo la lectura del relato breve titulado El cuento, del escritor Quim Monzó. Ponerse delante de un papel en blanco y llenarlo de imágenes escritas es una tarea ardua difícil.
El cuento, un relato de Quim Monzó
A media tarde el hombre se sienta ante su escritorio, coge una hoja de papel en blanco, la pone en la máquina y empieza a escribir. La frase inicial sale enseguida. La segunda también. Entre la segunda y la tercera hay unos segundos de duda.
Llena una página, saca la hoja del carro de la máquina y la deja a un lado, con la cara en blanco hacia arriba. A esta primera hoja agrega otra, y luego otra. De vez en cuando relee lo que ha escrito, tacha palabras, cambia el orden dentro de las frases, elimina párrafos, tira hojas enteras a la papelera. De golpe retira la máquina, coge la pila de hojas escritas, la vuelve del derecho y con un bolígrafo tacha, cambia, añade, suprime. Coloca la pila de hojas corregidas a la derecha, vuelve a acercarse la máquina y reescribe la historia de principio a fin. Una vez ha acabado, vuelve a corregirla a mano y a reescribirla a máquina. Ya entrada la noche la relee por enésima vez. Es un cuento. Le gusta mucho. Tanto, que llora de alegría. Es feliz. Tal vez sea el mejor cuento que ha escrito nunca. Le parece casi perfecto. Casi, porque le falta el título. Cuando encuentre el título adecuado será un cuento inmejorable. Medita qué título ponerle. Se le ocurre uno. Lo escribe en una hoja, a ver qué le parece. No acaba de funcionar. Bien mirado, no funciona en absoluto. Lo tacha. Piensa otro. Cuando lo relee también lo tacha.
Todos los títulos que se le ocurren le destrozan el cuento: o son obvios o hacen caer la historia en un surrealismo que rompe la sencillez. O bien son insensateces que lo echan a perder. Por un momento piensa en ponerle Sin título, pero eso lo estropea todavía más. Piensa también en la posibilidad de realmente no ponerle título, y dejar en blanco el espacio que se le reserva. Pero esta solución es la peor de todas: tal vez haya algún cuento que no necesite título, pero no es éste; éste necesita uno muy preciso: el título que, de cuento casi perfecto, lo convertiría en un cuento perfecto del todo: el mejor que haya escrito nunca.
Al amanecer se da por vencido: no hay ningún título suficientemente perfecto para ese cuento tan perfecto que ningún título es lo bastante bueno para él, lo cual impide que sea perfecto del todo. Resignado (y sabiendo que no puede hacer otra cosa), coge las hojas donde ha escrito el cuento, las rompe por la mitad y rompe esta mitad por la mitad; y así sucesivamente hasta hacerlo añicos.
Rosalía de Castro fue una escritora gallega que potenció y valorizó la literatura en este idioma. Considerada como una autora fundamental del siglo XIX, murió joven, víctima de un cáncer de útero. A lo largo de diversos viajes y cambios de domicilio escribió varias obras de gran calidad tanto poética como narrativa. La más conocida, sus ‘Follas Novas‘.
1. Hija de una noble y un sacerdote
Rosalía de Castro nació en la ciudad de Santiago de Compostela el 24 de febrero de 1837. Hija de una noble y de un sacerdote, fue considerada como un nacimiento no bien avenido así que al principio no fue aceptada por la familia materna. Por eso, durante sus primeros años fue criada por sus dos tías paternas.
2. Crisis de adolescencia tras el descubrimiento de sus orígenes
A los cinco años de edad se traslada junto a su madre a la localidad de Padrón (La Coruña). Su adolescencia estuvo marcada por una profunda crisis de vida tras el descubrimiento de su condición de hija ilegítima y por una delicada salud que jamás mejoró.
3. En Madrid escribió su primera obra, ‘La flor’
Se trasladó a Madrid en 1855 y fue allí donde salió a la luz su primera obra, el poemario en castellano titulado ‘La flor‘. Este libro recibió muy buenas críticas de Manuel de Mungía, con el que se casaría más tarde.
4. En Galicia escribe sus obras más importantes
Tras la muerte de su madre, Rosalía y Manuel se trasladan de nuevo a su Galicia natal. Es en esta época cuando empieza a gestar sus obras más importantes: ‘A mi madre’ y ‘Cantares gallegos’. Este último fue su primer libro en lengua gallega, considerada por aquél entonces, como un simple dialecto.
5. En Simancas escribe las famosas ‘Follas novas’
La familia se traslada a Simancas (Valladolid), cuando su marido es nombrado director del archivo de la misma localidad. Allí escribe parte del famoso poemario ‘Follas novas’.
6. ‘En las orillas del Sar’ recoge sus poemas en castellano
A comienzos de 1880 publica un número considerable de poemas en castellano que serán recogidos en el libro ‘En las orillas del Sar’.
7. Fallece en Padrón a causa de un cáncer de útero
En 1883 se trasladó a la localidad de Padrón, donde falleció dos años después, a los 48 años de edad, a causa de un cáncer de útero.
La obra de Rosalía de Castro, la gran maestra de las letras gallegas que murió el 15 de julio de 1885 a los 48 años víctima de un cáncer uterino, rezuma ansiedad y angustia ante extraños presentimientos. Rosalía de Castro, poseedora asimismo de una sensibilidad desgarradora, describe de un modo inigualable el paisaje gallego, al que muestra como una naturaleza misteriosa rodeada de un halo de indefinible tristeza y melancolía.
SALVADA POR EL DESTINO
Muchos describen a Rosalía de Castro como una persona infeliz y desconfiada en muchos aspectos. Maximino Teijeiro, su médico de cabecera, la llegó a llamar cariñosamente: «Mi eterna enferma». En algunas de las cartas que Rosalía envió a su marido, Manuel Murguía, ella misma contaba cómo sus males le hacían muy difícil el hecho de mantener una actitud positiva frente a la vida.
Nacida en Camino Novo, un arrabal de Santiago de Compostela, el 24 febrero de 1837, Rosalía fue hija natural de Teresa de Castro, una hidalga venida a menos, y de un sacerdote, José Martínez Viojo. Bautizada con el nombre de María Rosalía Rita, se libró de entrar en la inclusa gracias a que su madrina y sirvienta de su madre, María Francisca Martínez, se hizo cargo de ella. Hasta que cumplió los ocho años, Rosalía estuvo bajo la protección de su tía paterna, Teresa Martínez Viojo, que se trasladó a Padrón y a Santiago, hasta que los rumores y las historias que se contaban acerca de su familia y sobre su nacimiento se fueron olvidando. Entonces su madre y su familia materna se hicieron cargo de ella.
NOSTÁLGICA Y ESCÉPTICA
Se conoce muy poco sobre la etapa escolar de la joven Rosalía, pero se sabe que recibió las primeras lecciones de música y dibujo en la Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País, aunque es muy posible que en algunos casos su aprendizaje fuera autodidacta. Rosalía debutó a los quince años como actriz en el Liceo de la Juventud de Santiago en una obra teatral de Gil y Zárate titulada Rosamunda. En 1856, se trasladó a Madrid donde se instaló en casa de una amiga de su madre y fue allí donde conoció a su futuro marido: Manuel Murguía. Murguía era un brillante periodista que tuvo un papel muy destacado en el Rexurdimiento cultural galego, pero también fue una persona acomplejada por su físico, ya que era extremadamente bajo. Las malas lenguas decían también que era un hombre irascible y profundamente antisemita. Rosalía de Castro publicó un folleto de poesías en castellano titulado La Flor, que él reseñó apasionadamente en el periódico La Iberia.
En octubre de 1858, Rosalía y Manuel se casaron, pero al parecer el matrimonio pasó al principio por ciertas estrecheces económicas. A pesar de todo, y aunque Rosalía nunca cambió su carácter melancólico y su escepticismo ante el amor, la poeta quiso mucho a su marido, con el que tuvo seis hijos. Manuel estimuló la capacidad literaria de se mujer, hasta hacer posible la publicación de su obra más famosa, Cantares Galegos, obra que se ha convertido en la pieza angular del resurgimiento de la literatura gallega del siglo XIX. De hecho, se ha llegado a decir que si Rosalía escribió esta obra es por que su marido la animó a ello. Gracias a él, aquel «poemario» se convirtió en la primera gran obra de la literatura en gallego, una lengua que hasta ese momento sólo se asociaba a las clases más bajas de la sociedad, la ignorancia y el atraso.
En 1859, Rosalía publicó su primera obra narrativa: La hija del mar. Una novela romántica que la escritora dedicó a su marido: «A ti, que eres la persona que más amo dedico este libro, cariñoso recuerdo de algunos días de felicidad, que, como yo, querrás recordar siempre». En 1862, poco antes de morir, su madre le confesó quien era su padre y a raíz de ello Rosalía escribió una colección de poemas en castellano que tituló: A mi madre. Años más tarde, un poco antes de encontrarse con Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, la autora escribió su famoso poemario y la novela El caballero de las botas azules.
Desde 1871, y con el nombramiento de su marido como director del Archivo de Galicia y de la Biblioteca Universitaria de Santiago, Rosalía ya no se movería de su Galicia natal. Profesionalmente aquellos fueron unos años tranquilos, aunque en lo personal la tragedia se cebó en su familia: Adriano, su hijo pequeño, murió en 1876 a causa de una mala caída, hecho que la autora plasmó en su obra En las orillas del Sar, y, más tarde, su última hija, Valentina, nació muerta.
ROSALÍA Y LA MUJER
En una proyección social y solidaria hacia las mujeres, Rosalía escribió Follas Novas en 1880. Esta obra marcaría un nuevo giro literario de la escritora, tal como ella misma manifestó en el prólogo: «Lo que siempre me conmovió fue las innumerables cuitas de nuestras mujeres, amorosas criaturas con propios y extraños, llenas de sentimiento, tan esforzadas de cuerpo como blandas de corazón y también tan desdichadas que se dijeran nacidas sólo para soportar cuantas fatigas puedan afligir a la parte más débil y sencilla de la humanidad». Sus críticas a ciertas tradiciones gallegas, así como al machismo imperante en la época, publicadas en el diario El Imparcial en 1881 fueron objeto de más de una respuesta salida de tono a lo que ella, sin inmutarse, llegó a responder: «Yo por mi parte, añadiré que soy vieja para recibir lecciones de un maestro de escuela y por lo tanto que me atengo a lo que mi decencia me dicta, que en esto es el mejor juez que puede hablar» .
Sus últimas palabras, antes de morir de un cáncer de útero se las dijo a su hija el 15 de julio de 1885: «Abre la ventana, que quiero ver el mar». Después de ser enterrada en el cementerio de Adina, el 15 de mayo de 1891 su cadáver fue exhumado para ser trasladado a Santiago de Compostela, donde fue nuevamente sepultado en un mausoleo diseñado específicamente para ella por el escultor Jesús Landeira y que está situado en la capilla de la Visitación del Convento de Santo Domingo de Bonaval. Sin embargo, la verdadera valoración de la obra de Rosalía de Castro no llegaría hasta la aparición de los modernistas y la Generación del 98. Fue entonces cuando se reconoció a Rosalía como una creadora afín a su espíritu. Su importancia como escritora no sólo tiene que ver con su obra, sino con su forma de enfrentarse a la vida. Incluso ha llegado a ser considerada como el alma de Galicia. El escritor gallego Manuel Curros Enríquez, contemporáneo de la poeta, dijo de ella: «Rosalía es Galicia que pasa rumiando su tristeza de siglos».
Rosalía de Castro, la escritora gallega más universal
osalía de Castro (Santiago 1837- Padrón 1885) es la autora nuclear de las letras gallegas modernas y una de las figuras indispensable del panorama literario del siglo XIX. En el día en el que se cumplen 178 años de su nacimiento, distintos actos celebrados dentro y fuera de Galicia, y también en Internet, homenajean su figura.
Mito y símbolo de Galicia, y autora de obras inmortales, como Follas Novas o En las orillas del Sar, fue una escritora innovadora y comprometida, adelantada a su tiempo, que empleó el gallego en la literatura cuando aún nadie lo hacía. En sus obras reflejó la situación de esa Galicia más dolorida y maltratada, desangrada por la emigración. Denunció la pobreza del campesinado gallego o la precaria situación laboral que sufrían algunos de sus habitantes fuera de la comunidad. A efectos históricos, su obra se convirtió en el primer canto de referencia para una Galicia que se transforma. Su obra supuso la recuperación de la conciencia galleguista.
Junto a otros insignes literatos, como Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, fue, además, representante del Romanticismo tardío. Fue precursora de la poesía española moderna y del existencialismo (la obra En las orillas del Sar da cuenta de este espíritu). Renovadora tanto en la forma como el fondo, el trabajo de Rosalía de Castro inspiró a poetas de la trascendencia de Machado o Juan Ramón Jiménez. Uno de los rasgos que mejor definen su obra y su actitud vital es la «saudade».
Rosalía de Castro, la autora universal, traducida a las principales lenguas del mundo, incorpora a su obra la tristeza como manifestación sustancial de la existencia humana, quizás influida por su precaria salud y por sus sobresaltos vitales -a los 15 años se enteró de que era hija ilegítima de un cura y los seis hijos que tuvo con su marido, el historiador Manuel Murguía -uno de los padres del Rexurdimento– murieron antes que ella-. Ni siquiera el amor tiene para ella connotaciones gozosas, sino que es un sentimiento efímero y egoísta que aboca a la soledad. Rosalía de Castro fue una mujer singular, de un gran pesimismo y de una excelsa sensibilidad.
Uno de los poemas que mejor reflejan ese hondo pesar, ese dolor sombrío y vital, es Negra sombra (publicado dentro de Follas Novas), uno de los poemas más conocidos de la poetisa y uno de los cantos más difundidos de Galicia. La letra y la música se han fundido en estas estrofas de forma casi inseparable.
Nacida en Santiago de Compostela el 24 de febrero de 1837, Rosalía de Castro es la hija más ilustre de la comarca del Sar. La poetisa amó a su tierra natal y a la que tuvo como adopción, Padrón, donde pasó sus últimos años. A ambos lugares dedicó alguno de sus títulos más conocidos. En las orillas del Sar, su único libro en castellano, publicado en 1884, en la que la mirada de Rosalía se adentra en su propio espíritu, hace alusión a ese lugar del que tantas veces estuvo separada y por el que sintió especial morriña.
Junto a esa faceta más intimista, la autora también fue una mujer que no tuvo miedo de ser políticamente incorrecta. Precursora del feminismo, reivindicó el papel de la mujer en la cultura.
Su gran obra
Aunque fue una asidua cultivadora también de la prosa, donde Rosalía de Castro sobresalió fue en el campo de la poesía, a través de la creación de las que pueden ser consideradas sus tres obras clave: Cantares Gallegos, Follas Novas y En las orillas del Sar.
El título la ilustre poetisa que tuvo mayor trascendencia y la colocó en el centro del discurso de un país fue Cantares Gallegos, primera obra que la autora publicó íntegramente en gallego y que es considerado como el libro fundacional del «Rexurdimento galego», época de recuperación de la identidad de Galicia tanto en el aspecto cultural (sobre todo, popular), de la historia y de la propia lengua, en aquel momento tan desprestigiada que no se consideraba apta para usos cultos.
Cantares Gallegos, publicado el 17 de mayo 1863, vio, por tanto la luz para reinvindicar a Galicia y a su lengua y para defenderlas de los ataques que sufrían. En honor a esa fecha, y desde 1963, cada 17 de mayo se celebra el Día das Letras Galegas, una celebración instituida por la Real Academia Galega para homenajear a aquellas personas que destaquen por su creación literaria en idioma gallego o por su defensa de dicha lengua.
Otro de los poemarios más destacados en la producción de Rosalía de Castro, fue Follas Novas (1884), publicado tan solo un año antes de su muerte en Padrón. Fue su último poemario en gallego y, para muchos críticos, esta obra representa el volumen poético gallego más universal. En él la autora alza una voz estremecedora marcada por la reflexión, por la desolación, por la saudade y, también, por una veraz dosis de reivindicación social que nunca quiso esconder. Sus versos tienen por horizonte, la frontera del propio ser.
La valoración de la obra rosaliana y la mitificación de la escritora se produjeron, sin embargo, tras su fallecimiento, puesto que a lo largo de su vida esta fue menospreciada y marginada. Fue necesario esperar hasta los modernistas y la generación del 98 para que reconocieran en Rosalía a una creadora afín a su espíritu.
La importancia de Rosalía de Castro no solo tiene que ver con su obra -sigue siendo la escritora gallega de mayor proyección universal- y con su forma de enfrentarse a la vida; juega, de hecho, un papel estético fundamental, hasta el punto de considerarse algo así como el alma de Galicia. De ella dijo Curros Enríquez: «Rosalía es Galicia que pasa rumiando su tristeza de siglos».
Un día de verano que no llovió me entraron ganas de moverme, o al menos, de dar una vuelta por la manzana. La idea me animó, de repente me di cuenta de que hacía mucho tiempo que no me sentía de tan buen humor. Hacía tanto calor que creí poder ponerme los calzoncillos cortos, pero al ir a por ellos, me acordé de que los había tirado el año anterior en un ataque de melancolía. No obstante, la idea de los calzoncillos cortos se hizo tan imperiosa que corté las perneras de los calzoncillos largos que llevaba puestos. Nunca se es tan viejo como para perder la esperanza.
Era extraño salir después de tanto tiempo, aunque todo me resultaba familiar, claro está. Escribiré sobre esto, pensé, y de repente en medio de la acera note una erección, pero no importaba, porque los bolsillos de los pantalones eran amplios y profundos.
Al llegar a la primera esquina –tardé mucho, porque aunque el espíritu iba muy dispuesto, las piernas no acompañaban– descubrí que al fin y al cabo no me apetecía dar una vuelta por la manzana. Ya que era verano quería ver algo verde, aunque sólo fuera un árbol, así que seguí recto. Hacía calor, tanto calor como cuando era niño, y me alegré de llevar los calzoncillos cortos. Y con la erección bajo un hábil control, me sentía bien. Puede que suene exagerado, pero así era.
Cuando ya casi había dejado atrás tres casas, oí a alguien gritar mi nombre. Aunque sonaba a voz de viejo, no me volví, pues hay muchos que se llaman Thomas. Pero al tercer grito miré hacia donde sonaba la voz, era un día tan poco corriente… Todo podía suceder. Y allí estaba, en la acera de enfrente, el viejo profesor Storm, del instituto. “Félix”, grité, pero estaba tan poco acostumbrado a usar la voz que no me salió gran cosa. Nos separaba un denso tráfico, y ni él ni yo nos atrevíamos a cruzar la calle, habría sido estúpido perder la vida de pura alegría, cuando me había aguantado sin ella durante tanto tiempo. Así que lo único que pude hacer fue gritar su nombre una vez más y saludarle con el bastón. Sentí una gran decepción, pero al menos era un consuelo saber que me había visto y llamado por mi nombre. “Adiós, Félix”, grité, y me dispuse a seguir mi camino.
Pero cuando llegué al siguiente cruce allí estaba él, justo delante de mí, de modo que me había puesto triste sin motivo alguno. “Thomas, viejo amigo –dijo–, ¿dónde diablos has estado?”. No quería decírselo, así que no le contesté, pero dije:
“El mundo es grande, Félix”. “Y todos están muertos o casi muertos”. “Sí, sí, la vida exige lo suyo”. “Bien dicho, Thomas, bien dicho”. A mí no me pareció bien dicho en absoluto, y casi para hacerme merecedor de sus elogios dije: “Mientras tengamos sombra, hay vida”. “Pues sí, sí, la maldad no tiene fin”. En ese momento empecé a preguntarme si no estaba chocheando, y decidí ponerlo a prueba. “El problema no es la maldad –dije–, sino la insensatez, por ejemplo, la de esos jóvenes montados en motos enormes”. Me miró un buen rato y dijo:
“Creo que ahora no entiendo muy bien lo que quieres decir”. Como yo no quería conseguir una victoria a costa suya, me limité a decir, como por casualidad: “Pues eso, ¿qué es en realidad la maldad?”. Huelga decir que no supo contestar, no era teólogo, y yo me apresuré a añadir: “Pero no hablemos de eso. ¿Cómo estás?”. Era evidente que lo había puesto de mal humor, porque primero miró detenidamente el reloj y luego dijo: “Cada vez que me encuentro con alguien, me siento más solo que antes”. No era precisamente una frase agradable, pero hice como si nada. “Pues sí –dije–, así es”. Me di cuenta de que si no me daba prisa en despedirme, él lo haría primero, pero no me di la suficiente prisa, de modo que se me adelantó. “Tengo que irme, Thomas, he dejado las patatas en el fuego”. “Ah, sí, las patatas”, contesté. Entonces le di la mano y dije: “Bueno, por si no volvemos a encontrarnos”. Dejé las palabras suspendidas en el aire, porque era una de esas frases que quedan mejor inacabadas. “Sí”,, dijo, y me estrechó la mano. “Adiós, Félix”. “Adiós, Thomas”.
Di media vuelta y regresé a casa. No había visto nada verde, pero, ¡vaya!, ¡cuántos acontecimientos para un solo día!
Theater actually began in the 6th century. These ancient Greeks were among the first to demonstrate dramatic presentations. Theatres play an important role in entertainment for people all across the country. Almost anything can be considered a form of entertainment for centuries, including drama, comedy, and music.
How Did Theatre Started?
Historically, drama has been linked to Athens, which gave birth to dithyramb, an ancient song named for god Dionysus, dating as far back as Neolithic times. There is also the ‘City Dionysia’, one of those festivals of entertainment which featured concerts, dancing, and singing.
What Are The 3 Origins Of Theatre?
Tragedy, comedy, and drama were the three different types of drama in ancient Greece. Plays in ancient Greece got their start in the festivals which commemorated Dionysus, as Aristotle (384-322 BCE), the first theoretician of stage plays, claims.
What Was The First Theatre Play?
In 1752, Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” performed for the very first time in Williamsburg, Virginia. Due to a strong Christian culture, theatrical performance had been prohibited from 1774 to 1789.
Did Ancient Greeks Invent Theatre?
In Ancient Greece, the Greeks innovated art and entertainment. If they could be run at 14,000 people they would be able to accommodate audiences from all over Greece. It was common practice in ancient Greece for Greek theatres to be built on hillsides and constructed round, so all members of the audience could hear what the actors were saying.
Who Made Theatre?
Theater was Invented by the Greeks, who constructed three distinct types: Ancient, Intermediate, and Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate. After the ancient metropolises such as Athens took over the building of their theaters, the other ancient city-states continued to build their theatres. Many believe that the theater we know as the Coliseum is a direct result of the invention of ancient Greece.
What Was The First Theatre?
The first plays were performed in what was then called the Theater of Dionysus, built on Athens’s main square as early as 5th century AD, but soon theatres spread to other parts of Greece as well, so popular that they became a permanent part of the country’s
Who Started Greek Theatre?
As stated in ancient Greek tradition, Thespis was the first actor to appear in plays. He is sometimes referred to as the inventor of tragedy; his name was associated with the first stage tragedy to be staged at the Great (or City) Dionysia.
What Was The First Theatre Stage?
2000 BC. It was located in four Minoan palaces on Crete that the earliest theatrical theaters were found. This was thought to be the oldest of these, dating from around 2000 BC. This was a rectangular stage enclosed in stone. Open-air spaces had rectangular stages that were built of stone.
What Are The Origins Of Greek Theatre?
There were no religious festivals for Greek theatre before the introduction of tragedy plays in Athens in 6th century BCE. The result was a generation of Greek comedy plays which were influenced by these. In addition to Greek drama being hugely popular, performances of other languages spread throughout the Mediterranean. Hellenistic and Roman theatre similarly adapted to Greek drama.
What Are The Three Types Of Ancient Greek Drama?
Drama became an important way for the Ancient Greeks to study the world they lived in, as well as what it meant to be human during this period. Drama has three major kinds of genres – comedy, dramas, comedies, and tragedies.
What Is The Oldest Play?
‘Persians,’ the world’s oldest play, serves as an inspiration for the day.
Who Invented Stage Plays?
As the name implies, Thespis, a priest of Dionysus, introduces a new element to theatre that can be described as its birth.
Drama at Shakespeare’s time – and at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – was characterised by a tug of war between a disapproving puritanical attitude to theatre by the city councillors on the one hand, and royal approval on the other. The city fathers resented royal patronage and regarded it as interference in their affairs. This battle went on until finally, in 1642 and 1644, all the theatres were destroyed under order of Parliament.
We have therefore had great difficulty in gaining a good picture of what Elizabethan theatres were really like. We don’t even know exactly where the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre stood, although we can get quite close, and indeed, there is a splendid reconstruction of it, which is now one of London’s most popular theatres and biggest tourist attractions.
One of the most valuable sources of our knowledge about the actual architecture of the theatre is a drawing done by a Dutchman, Arend van Buchell, who did the drawing from a sketch made by his friend, Johannes de Witt, who attended a play at the Swan Theatre. Buchell said of it: ‘the largest and most remarkable of the theatres in London is the Swan, which is able to accommodate three thousand spectators.‘
Reconstruction of the Globe began immediately, and it was finished by June 1614. Performances continued until 1642, when the Puritans, who found theatre vulgar and intolerable, shut all theatres down. Two years later the Globe was levelled to make way for tenement dwellings.
Plays were big business for those who owned them: Shakespeare was only one man who became rich from his involvement as a shareholder in the most popular theatre. The plays produced by the Globe were very high in quality and the theatre was always full.
The competition among the theatres created a huge demand for new material and is the single most important factor in the flowering of drama that is now known as the ‘golden age’ of English drama. Apart from Shakespeare’s, scores of the plays of that period are regularly performed today. This great demand is reflected in Shakespeare’s vast output. If you look at a timeline of Shakespeare’s life you will see how fast he worked. He wrote up to four plays in some years and averaged 1.5 plays a year during his working life.
A day out at the Globe Theatre was a real treat. The grounds around the theatre would have been bustling, with plenty of entertainment. Even people not attending performances would flock to the Globe for the market stalls and the holiday-like atmosphere. There were many complaints about apprentices missing work to go to the theatre.
The groundlings paid a penny to stand in the pit of the Globe Theatre. The others sat in the galleries. The very grand could watch the play from a chair set on the side of the stage itself. Theatre performances were held in the afternoon because they needed the daylight. The turnover of plays was unimaginable to the modern mind. The theatres could often present eleven performances of ten different plays in two weeks. The actors generally got their lines only as the play was in progress – very different from the well-rehearsed performances that we expect these days. There would be someone backstage whispering the lines and the actors would then repeat them. Women were not allowed to appear on the stage so the female roles were played by men and boys.
Shakespeare was not only a shareholder in the Globe and a prominent writer; he also acted in some of the plays. We don’t know exactly how many roles he played himself, although we do have some documented information.
Shakespeare had begun his career on the stage by 1592. It is probable that he played the title role in Edward I by Edward Peele in 1593. Regarding the major roles in his own plays, he was probably directing because he gave way to the other actors and played small, peripheral parts, including Adam in As You Like It; Duncan in Macbeth; King Henry in Henry IV Part 1and Part 2; and the ghost in Hamlet. Shakespeare’s first biographer, Nicholas Rowe, refers to a role by Shakespeare as ‘the Ghost in his own Hamlet’ and says that he was at ‘the top of his performance’.
The 20th Century Rebuilding of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
In London Shakespeare circles there is a name almost as famous as that of William Shakespeare himself. It is that of Sam Wanamaker, an American actor whose vision almost matched Shakespeare’s.
A new acting space has opened in the Shakespeare Globe complex named ‘The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.’ Near to the Globe on the south bank of the River Thames there is a plaque that reads: In Thanksgiving for Sam Wanamaker, Actor, Director, Producer, 1919–1993, whose vision rebuilt Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on Bankside in this parish.
When Sam Wanamaker first visited London in 1949 he did what most first-time visitors did – he wandered around, overwhelmed by London’s beauty and history. One of the things he did was look for traces of Shakespeare’s Globe and he was astonished to find nothing more than a blackened plaque on a wall of an abandoned brewery. He failed to understand how Londoners, who should have been so proud of their famous writer, could be so neglectful.
While filming in the UK in 1952 he learned that he had become one of the many Hollywood victims of the McCarthy witch hunt and decided not to return to America. He had joined the Communist Party as a very young man and although he had long before abandoned that involvement it was enough for him to be blacklisted. So there was no career possible in America but he made a successful and distinguished career in the UK in film and theatre.
He became obsessed with his big idea – the resurrection of the lost Globe Theatre. In 1970 he launched the Shakespeare Globe Trust, and later obtained a piece of land near to the original site. He had considerable difficulty obtaining permission to build the theatre due to a hostile local council that blocked his efforts for years. He was also ridiculed by the theatre and film establishment but, undaunted, he carried on, using his own earnings from acting and directing to finance the project.
The 12 most important elements of the Theater (and what they are for)
Etymologically, the word “theater” comes from “theatron“, which in Greek means “a place to look”. Theatre also called “dramatic genre”, is a literary genre written by playwrights (people who write plays are called “playwrights”).
The objective of this genre is to represent a story through one or more characters who communicate with each other through dialogues (script of the play). The play is presented to an audience.
The most important elements of theatre
Of the 12 elements of the theater already mentioned at the beginning, we find 3 that are even more indispensable than the other actors and actresses, the audience (the audience) and the text (or script). That’s why we’ll expand on your sections.
The other 9 elements of the theatre, but are also important and enrich the play or show. Let’s see what each of these 12 elements of theatre consists of:
Actors and actresses
The first of the elements of theatre, and of outstanding importance. Actors and actresses are people who have studied dramatic arts, and who present the play and its history through scripts, scenes, actions, costumes, etc. In other words, have the mission of transmitting that story to the public through their words, actions, gestures, etc., giving life to the different characters.
In every play, there is at least one actor or actress, and often there is more than one. However, we must emphasize that a play can also be developed through puppets or puppets (ie, it is not essential that they are people). In this second case, the works are specially designed for children.
The intonation of the actors is usually energetic, with a forceful tone and a moderately high volume, so that the voice reaches the whole audience (and to give forcefulness to the character). Both your verbal and nonverbal language greatly influence the story. of the story, in the actor’s actions, and in how the audience perceives their role.
Text (or indent)
The next of the elements of the theatre is the text of the play. The text is called a script when the work is to be developed in the cinema or on stage. It raises and explains the story this includes the development of facts, scenes, dialogues (or monologues), etc.
That is to say, it includes the whole plot, dividing itself into: approach, knot (or climax), and denouement. A detail to know of the text is that it uses parentheses to pinpoint the action that happens while pronouncing the fragment in question.
The text is divided into acts (it would be the equivalent of chapters in novels); the acts, in turn, are divided into smaller fragments, called tables. Without the text, the work would not exist, so it is another element of the theatre considered essential.
Costumes include clothing and accessories worn by actors and actresses (or puppets). The wardrobe is a key element in identifying the characters in addition, it allows us to identify the period in which the story takes place. I mean, it offers a lot of information to the audience.
In this way, we see how a character can be created through costumes. This work is developed by a professional stylist in coordination with the makeup artist.
Make-up is another element of the theatre, which allows the characterization of the actor or actress through his or her physical appearance (especially facial). As we saw, it is related to the wardrobe; that is to say, it must go “according” to it, or at least it must have a joint meaning.
Makeup is used to enhance the qualities of the actors (or “defects”, depending on the type of character), as well as to disguise some factions. In addition, it allows to correct the distortions that produce another element, the illumination; these distortions can be an excess of brightness, a loss of color…
The makeup is done mainly through cosmetic products, paints, creams … In addition to enhance or highlight features, also allows to simulate wounds, scars, moles, freckles …
Lighting includes the way lights are moved and is used for the spotlights to illuminate one or another area of the stage (or actor). It also includes all the lights and spotlights used during the work. Thus, they allow to transmit certain emotions, to highlight (or hide) actors, etc.
The sound consists mainly of music and various sound effects (e.g. the sound of birds in a spring scene). It allows us to emphasize history and enrich it. It also includes microphones.
The director is the person who coordinates the play so that all the elements of the theatre work correctly. In turn, he may or may not be an actor. Her job includes coordinating scenes, actors, make-up, etc. This is the ultimate responsible person.
The scenography encompasses the different decorations used to set the story. That is to say, it decorates the space where the actors perform. The objective of the scenography is to represent the historical epoch of the plot, as well as the temporal, social, and geographical space in which it takes place.
9. Hearing (public)
The audience is the audience, i.e. the people to whom the play is exposed, who come to see it. The aim of the theater is to entertain the public in various ways, in addition to transmitting ideas and values social, political, historical, vindictive … That is why, even if the public does not intervene in the work, it is considered an important element of the work.
Objects, also called props, are objects that actors and actresses use throughout the different performances. They can move them, throw them, hide them, etc., depending on the action. Although they are considered part of the scenography, they are also considered distinctive elements of the theatre.
The next element of the theater is choreography; this includes dances (or fights) that appear throughout history (if they do). The choreography is based on the musical works (also called “musical” to dry). The movements and dances of the actors must be in accordance with the music and history.
12. Voice in over
The last element of theatre is the voice in over. Also called “voice over,” it’s the “background” voice that explains what’s happening on stage (although you don’t have to explain all the scenes) or provides extra information. The voice is from a person that the public cannot see although, in fact, it’s usually a voice recording.
Theatre has a huge impact on society. It gives audiences the chance to learn more about humanity through emotions, actions, and the story being told on stage. Each story a theatrical production tells can connect to the audience in one way or another, whether it be through self-discovery, the background of certain characters, or any […]
Theatre has a huge impact on society. It gives audiences the chance to learn more about humanity through emotions, actions, and the story being told on stage. Each story a theatrical production tells can connect to the audience in one way or another, whether it be through self-discovery, the background of certain characters, or any other reason. Not only that but the creativity and expression behind theatre makes for an evening of entertainment that many people won’t soon forget.
So how does theatre truly impact society?
Like other forms of art, the performing arts let artists communicate messages by using their bodies, voices, and inanimate objects artistically. It’s a way that people can tackle injustices they come across or tell a story that they’re dying to tell the world. Every artist involved in performing arts learns how to take constructive criticism, resolve problems, become disciplined, and persevere through even the most difficult of times. All of these qualities can be applied offstage as well as onstage, making theatre a great way to learn these skills and use them in everyday life.
Additionally, to successfully put on a show, people need to learn how to work together. This is especially important for children involved in theatre to learn, as they need to know how to work with others to accomplish their goals. Research has shown that kids involved in theatre have a better academic performance, boosting their grades and their math skills.
Those involved in theatre learn more than just how to act on a stage or create a set design. They have to learn marketing strategies as well since they need to advertise themselves to potential employers. Skills that are learned in theatre can easily be applied outside of theatre as well.
Theatre has lasted throughout the ages for a reason. It reflects what’s happening in society; even after the era a script is written in is long gone, the messages found within it can still be projected onto what’s happening in that next era. Examining humanity and its nature is something that will withstand time, as humans will almost always be the same: there will always be selfishness, and there will always be love. Theatre is just one of many ways to portray those emotions through storytelling.
Theatre is also a form of entertainment that can be enjoyed by the entire family. It is, first and foremost, an art that people can and will indulge in; to dismiss its importance in society is to dismiss people’s creativity and perception of the world.
A theatre is an elitist art form and while going to the theatre you will get a wonderful opportunity to explore the human condition and gather together. It is the intricate part of the human history because it is having the capability to show the best and worst sides of human nature. In a modern world most of the people are having a question about why is theatre important and it is useful to improve creativity level. People might easily connect with the history through the stage and make an effective emotional connection to roots. The theatre is the most crucial one for many reasons such as
History and education
Performing art is about being creative and it teaches people how to express ourselves more effectively.
How theatre is beneficial to society?
Performing art is form of the art in which artists might use their bodies, voices or inanimate objects to convey artistic expression. Basically performing arts are important one for many reasons like forming new opinions, receiving constructive criticism, solve problems better, perseverance and discipline. In performing arts, children might learn that they might work together in order to achieve common goal. All forms of the performing arts might allow kids to express any pent up emotions which they could be feeling.
According to the studies say that arts important in our community because it is an improved academic performance. Some of the studies report that performing art is really useful to children to enhance their grades in the academic subjects like English and maths. It is really useful to your kid in order to make a better career which they want. When it comes to theatre impact on society then it includes entertainment and other kinds of the factors.
Things to know about theatre
Theatre or theater is the collaborative form of the fine art which is using live performance to present experience of the imagined or real event. Music, dance, theatre, object manipulation and other kinds of the performances are present in the human cultures.
In fact the purpose of theater is to provide through joy to people. The theatre is a branch of the performing arts and it is concerned with the acting out stories in front of the audience. The main benefits of performing arts include improving life skills and academic performance. It is a specialized form of the fine art in which artists can perform their work live to an audience. Performing arts in school is one of the best ways to express their emotions and feelings via role play and acting.
Why Theatre Still is, and Always Will Be, Important
Why is theatre still important? There are not many other environments where people come together – performing or watching – which are collaborative to such a large extent. Especially nowadays, when our world is becoming ever more virtual and impersonal, being fully in the moment with a group of living and breathing people is more important than it ever has been before. Here are just five of many reasons, why we say, yes, theatre is still and always will be important.
When it comes to the importance of theatre in our lives, Oscar Wilde said it best: “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”
Theatre helps us to see things from a different perspective.
We’re shown humanity, collaboration, psychology, conflict, triumph, and trauma.
Now we can watch and to an extent experience how others have imagined dealing with similar situations.
As artists, we put ourselves into emotional and intellectual situations that may never arise in our personal lives. Or we get to re-enact situations for others that we have lived through already. We get to inspire, make a difference.
Theatre reminds us that we are not as alone as we think.
How often do we find ourselves overwhelmed by life and we feel lonely, exposed to the elements, the experiences, and daily struggles?
We fight to overcome trauma and are often wondering, “Why is this happening to me?” In those moments we feel utterly alone and isolated from everyone around us.
The arts remind us that others have gone through similar predicaments before and, like we most likely will do too, they have risen from the ashes and continued as a more mature, stronger version of themselves.
In theatre, we are not only sharing space and an experience with the artists who are performing. As a spectator, we are sharing the experience with fellow audience members as well.
Movies and television tell similar stories. Yet there is never any substitute for being there together in person. Nothing is stronger than the collaborative experience of creating and taking part in what has been created either on stage or in the auditorium.
Theatre is immediate and no performance is ever the same.
Although the script may be the same every night, each performance is unique because it is based on the immediate humanity of the performers as well as the reacting audience.
You can watch the same play every night, yet each time, you will have a distinct and unique experience that can never be replicated.
The interpretation of what is given subtly changing every night due to the human beings on stage subtly changing every single day as well.
In-Person Theatre can help promote social change.
Theatre gives us a chance to ask difficult questions. And almost as in a help group it gives us the chance to, in a relatively safe environment, have a discourse about whatever issues are brought to light. Each of us will think about what we hear and see.
Even if we don’t agree, there is something wholesome and healthy in coming all together to focus on a subject. We can listen to opposing views and widen our horizons.
Theatre promotes growth and learning.
A myriad of studies over the years have shown that students who participate in theatre do better in school.
Taking part in drama classes at school has significantly furthered the understanding of language and expression in students.
Performances can help to develop empathy for the experiences of others and can offer guidance in how to best explore diverse perspectives.
Theatre in 2020 left plenty of us asking questions. How would be operate in this climate? What is the future for theatre. It was a period of great uncertainty but led to lots of exploration in new areas. It is period of time that will not be forgotten. In the midst of this uncertainty, I have been thinking a lot about what makes theatre so special.
Learning skills for life
My first tangible memory of theatre was in my first year of secondary school. I remember doing an improvisation exercise where a family took were on an airplane that crashed. Between lessons I would think about the family, who they were and where they were going. Drama very quickly became my favourite lesson. I soon got involved with school plays and a local youth theatre. What makes theatre so special to me is that I have learned so many skills that have been applicable to so many areas of my life ever since. Through studying drama you learn key sills in how to perform, present, work as a team and to be punctual. You may not realise you are learning these skills at the time but it’s amazing when you think about it the number of life skills you pick up through studying drama.
Like all art forms, theatre has the power to help inform you about the world that we live in. I’ve learned so much about the world from theatre performances. During my college years we studied the work of British playwright Joe Orton whose plays such as Entertaining Mr Sloame and The Erpingham Camp discussed homosexuality in Britain during the 1960’s when it was still a criminal offence. These plays offered a view into a period of Britain’s history that has been heavily overlooked. In the last few years the work of Ad Infinitium have showcased areas of life and society that I’ve not personally been touched by but have left a lasting impression of me because they discussed, probed and highlighted issues that are vital. No Kids presents the issues presented by a same sex couple on whether or not to start a family. Whilst Extraordinary Wall o̶f̶ ̶S̶i̶l̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ presented three different stories of oppression and the story of British Sign Language.
Site-specific work also gives you the opportunity to understand more of locations. Witness for the Prosecution is set in the splendid surroundings of London County Hall and gives the audience the opportunity of not only seeing a fantastic theatre production but know more about the London County Hall itself.
Entertainment is crucial to our personal existence. We always need escapism from our day-to-day lives in order to keep a perspective on things. Whether it would be a best-selling novel or a blockbuster film, the power of entertainment is undeniable. When it comes to theatrical entertainment, few very things come close to the same level of excitement. The sense that you are seeing something live with a selected number of people is something it is hard if not impossible to replicate in other art forms.
No theatre performance is ever the same. If ever there is a moment when I am feeling lost or uncertain watching a theatre performance is more often than not the first thing I think to do. One of my favourite theatre productions to see is the Agatha Christie classic murder mystery The Mousetrap set in the fictional Monkswell Manor. The play, which is the longest running play in London’s West End, is a fabulous example of the power of storytelling to catapult you into a world of escapism. The outrageously talented Mischief Theatre company are another example who demonstrate that farce, fantastic writing and excellent comedy timing can generate huge excitements for audiences. If you ever do get a chance to watch any of their shows you must. Currently you can see their BBC television series The Goes Wrong Show on BBC iPlayer here or their lockdown show Mischief Movie Night.
Theatre is and always will be magical. Despite the unprecedented challenges that we as an industry face, it has the power to overcome adversity, adapt to the new surroundings and come out stronger and more determined. We are blessed as an industry to be populated by people who are passionate and devoted to the enhancement of theatre. What makes theatre so special? For me it’s my been the central character in my life and I can’t imagine a life without it.
You might think it’s an easy question to answer. It isn’t. Not for me. It took a whole book! Seven chapters!
Yet it is also true that themes of those chapters spiral around one another, forming a thick cord that, I am hoping, different people can grasp in different places, wherever it comes closest to where they are.
So then, why do humans dance?
A good first step is to clarify the terms of the question. What is “dance” anyway? Why we do it depends on what “it” is.
I define dance as an emergent phenomenon, one that is rooted in the movement of our bodily selves.
We humans are movement. We are the movement that is making us able to think and feel and act at all. Sometimes the movement that we are erupts in a spontaneous burst and assumes a new pattern.
We may be walking down the street and a passing sensation streaks through our bodily selves, producing a small hop, a shift in weight, a skip forward. Or we are walking along the ocean’s edge, suddenly propelled by the felt force of the crashing waves to spin and stretch along with them.
In such moments, dance emerges. It is tossed up within the restive currents of movement that we are, taking shape as a new pattern of sensory awareness that changes us. We are now the person who made that move. When such an impulse courses through us, it relates us to ourselves and our worlds in a new way. It aligns. It touches. It frees. It is dance.
While such emergences may be spontaneous, we can also practice opening ourselves up to receiving them. We can practice noticing and recreating movement patterns that appear to us—movements organized into a technique, a style, a form—so as to heighten our vulnerability to such animating bursts. Whatever movements we practice–in any realm–will encourage us to make further movements in the directions they define.
In this case, the movement patterns that we are practicing serve as invitations to deepen our sensation of movement. The movements we practice invite us to move with greater ease, facility, and dynamic delivery in the patterns they represent. They invite us to receive sponteous bursts of energy in line with the trajectories they open. This too, is dance.
Returning to the initial question, this definition of dance points towards a circular answer. Humans dance because dance is human. Dance is not an accidental or supplemental activity in which humans choose to engage or not. Dance is essential to our survival as human beings.
Without the barest ability to notice, recreate, and become patterns of movement, without the ability to invite impulses to move, humans would not be able to learn how to sense and respond to the sources of their wellbeing—to people, to nourishment, to ideas, to environments. Dancing is essential to the rhythm of bodily becoming by which human persons become whomever they are.
The implications are many and far reaching.
For one, dance is in everyone. There is no escape from it. You can’t say that you can’t, don’t, didn’t or won’t. The only question is how. How are you dancing? How are you going to dance? Under what influences? With what inspiration? Beholden to what impediments? In response to what goals, goads, and gods? Or maybe there is a second question—why, as in: Why have you stopped?
A second implication is that “dance,” as a term, has no content. It is not inherently anything—neither good nor bad; helpful nor harmful. There is no paradigmatic technique or form. There is no “essence” of dance, and no one way in which dance appears as dance to everyone everywhere.
At the same time, however, this way of thinking about dance affords ample resources for understanding the significance and efficacy of any movement patterns that do appear to someone somewhere as “dance.”
Any dance tradition or technique, any set of exercises or training regimes, represents a collection of movement impulses that a given person or group of people have received, recreated, and remembered.
Any dance tradition or technique represents movement patterns that those persons have found useful for connecting them to something they perceive as having value—whether tribe or tradition, pleasure or skill, community or divinity, heaven or Earth. Dance as movement is inherently relational.
Moreover, this understanding of dance as human also provides us with ways of evaluating whether and how a given technique or tradition is helping people learn to move in life-enabling ways. As we create and become these patterns of prescribed movement, what ranges of thought, feeling, and action are we drawing into reality? What sensitivities and sensibilities are we honing? What kind of relationships are we manifesting with ourselves, with others, and with the earth?
Why do humans dance? We dance because we can. Because dance is who we are. Because dance is what our bodily selves do. Because dance is how we become who we have the potential or desire or need to be.
Must we dance? In so far as we have any life at all, we are moving. At some level, in some range, however narrow, we are creating and becoming the patterns of sensation and response that our movements require. Whether or not we practice is up to us. We need not cultivate an ability to receive impulses to move that align our bodily selves with the opportunities of the moment. But we can.
Should we dance? That is a question each person needs to ask his or her self. And the first step in forming an answer is to ask: what is dance to you? What is it that you do everyday that brings your senses to life? What is it that wakes you up to the sources of your creativity and compassion? Your new ideas? Your joy?
Whatever it is, there is a dance in it. Whatever it is there are patterns of movement—of sensing and responding—that open you to the enabling sources of your own bodily becoming. Whatever it is, do it.
Once you can see the dance in yourself and what you do, you may be inspired to do more—to seek out further opportunities to see and sense and be moved by patterns of movement that other humans have discovered. Go for it!
Humans can dance anywhere, for any reason, with whatever meaning we choose. The fact that humans can is what matters. The fact that we do is what enlivens us. The fact that we can do more is what gives me hope for this species and our planet.
The dancing species: How moving together in time helps make us human
Dancing is a human universal, but why?
It is present in human cultures old and new; central to those with the longest continuous histories; evident in the earliest visual art on rock walls from France to South Africa to the Americas, and enfolded in the DNA of every infant who invents movements in joyful response to rhythm and song, long before she can walk, talk or think of herself as an ‘I’. Dancing remains a vital, generative practice around the globe into the present in urban neighbourhoods, on concert stages, as part of healing rituals and in political revolutions. Despite efforts waged by Christian European and American colonists across six continents over 500 years to eradicate indigenous dance traditions and to marginalise dancing within their own societies, dancing continues wherever humans reside. Any answer to the question of why humans dance must explain its ubiquity and tenacity. In so doing, any answer will challenge Western notions of human being that privilege mind over body as the seat of agency and identity.
Current explanations for why humans dance tend to follow one of two approaches. The first, seen in psychological and some philosophical circles, begins with a human as an individual person who chooses to dance (or not) for entertainment, exercise, artistic expression or some other personal reason. Such approaches assume that dance is one activity among others offering benefits to an individual that may be desirable, but not necessary, for human well being. Alternatively, a raft of sociological and anthropological explanations focus on community, asserting that dancing is one of the first means by which the earliest humans solidified strong social bonds irrespective of blood lines. In these accounts, dancing is eventually replaced by more rational and effective means of social bonding that the dancing itself makes possible, such as language, morality and religion. While the first type of reasoning struggles to explain why so many humans choose to dance, the second struggles to explain why humans continue to dance. What is missing from these accounts?
What if humans are the primates whose capacity to dance (shared by some birds and mammals) was the signature strategy enabling the evolution of a distinctively large and interconnected brain, empathic heart and ecological adaptability? And what if dancing plays this role for humans not just in prehistoric times, but continuing into the present? What if humans are creatures who evolved to dance as the enabling condition of their own bodily becoming?
Recent evidence for such a thesis is gathering across scientific and scholarly disciplines. Time and again, researchers are discovering the vital role played by bodily movement not only in the evolution of the human species, but in the present-day social and psychological development of healthy individuals. Moreover, it is not just bodily movement itself that registers as vital in these cases, but a threefold capacity: to notice and recreate movement patterns; to remember and share movement patterns; and to mobilise these movement patterns as a means for sensing and responding to whatever appears. This threefold capacity is what every dance technique or tradition exercises and educates.
According to the New York University neuroscientist Rodolfo Llinás, writing in the bookI of the Vortex (2001), bodily movement builds brains. A brain takes shape as it records patterns of neuromuscular coordination, and then remembers the outcomes in terms of pain or pleasure, emotional tags that help it assess whether to mobilise that movement again, and if so, how.
In so far as bodily movements build the brain, every movement a human makes matters. Each repetition of a movement deepens and strengthens the pattern of mind-body coordination that making that movement requires; and the repetition also defines avenues along which future attention and energy flow. Every movement made and remembered shapes how an organism grows – what it senses and how it responds. From this perspective, every aspect of a human bodily self – from chromosomal couplet to sense organ to limb shape – is a capacity for moving that develops through a process of its own movement making. An arm, for example, develops into an arm by virtue of the movements it makes, beginning in utero. These movements pull its bones and muscles into shape, as contracting cells build the physiological forms needed to meet the movements’ demands.
In this sense, a human being is what I call a rhythm of bodily becoming. A human is always creating patterns of bodily movement, where every new movement unfolds along an open-ended trajectory made possible by movements already made. Dancing can be seen as a means of participating in this rhythm of bodily becoming.
Further support for this thesis comes from anthropologists and developmental psychologists who have documented the importance of bodily movement to infant survival. As the American anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy affirms in her bookMothers and Others (2009), human infants are born premature, relative to their primate cousins: a human foetus intent on emerging from the womb with the neuromuscular maturity of an infant chimpanzee would need to stay there for 21 months. Instead, hopelessly dependent human infants must have a capacity to secure the loyalty of caregivers at a time when their sole means for doing so is by noticing, recreating and remembering those patterns of movement that succeed in connecting them to sources of nurture. In a view shared by Hrdy and others, this capacity for the responsive recreation of bodily movement forms the roots of human intersubjectivity. In other words, infants build their brains outside the womb in relation to mobile others by exercising a capacity to dance.
Recent research on mirror neurons further supports the idea that humans have a unique capacity to notice, recreate and remember patterns of movement. More abundant in the human brain than any other mammalian brain, mirror neurons fire when a person notices a movement, recreating the pattern of neuromuscular coordination needed to make that movement. In this way, humans can learn to recreate the movement of others – not only other humans, but also trees and giraffes, predators and prey, fire, rivers and the Sun. As the neuroscientist V S Ramachandran writes in his bookThe Tell-Tale Brain (2011), mirror neurons ‘appear to be the evolutionary key to our attainment of full-fledged culture’ by allowing humans ‘to adopt each other’s point of view and empathise with one another’.
Nevertheless, the term ‘mirror’ is misleading; it hides the agency of bodily movement. A brain does not provide a passive reflection. As eyes register movement, what a person sees is informed by the sensory awareness that his previous movements have helped him develop. He responds along the trajectories of attention that these previous movements have created. From this perspective, dance is a human capacity, not just one possible activity among others. It is a capacity that must be exercised for a person to build a brain and body capable of creating relationships with the sources of sustenance available in a given cultural or environmental context. To dance is human.
In this light, every dance technique or tradition appears as a stream of knowledge – an ever-evolving collection of movement patterns discovered and remembered for how well they hone the human capacity for movement-making. Most of all, dancing provides humans with the opportunity to learn how their movements matter. They can become aware of how the movements they make are training them – or not – to cultivate the sensory awareness required to empathise across species and with the Earth itself. In this regard, dance remains a vital art. From the perspective of bodily becoming, humans cannot not dance.
All cultures enjoy moving to the beat, but we’re beginning to discover we’re not the only ones with rhythm, other animals like to get into the groove.
A male crouches, sharply drawing his breath to tighten his chest. The cape descending from his neck presses closely against his back. He turns his head upwards, fixing his eyes upon the female.
Suddenly, he puffs his chest, extending it up and out, before returning to his original position. Then, he flips his cape forward, up and over his body, slightly bowing his head. If he’s confident that she’s interested in his advances, he opens his cape, revealing two reflective blue-green «eye spots» just above his eyes. While holding this posture, he circles slowly around the female. If the female is interested, she takes a slightly submissive stance and turns in place. Their faces nearly touch as she rotates, constantly maintaining eye contact.
The setting for this elaborate courtship ceremony is not some medieval court or Dancing with the Stars. It isn’t even a dance club or a crowded bar. This particular ritual takes place in the montane forests of Papua New Guinea. And the participants aren’t humans, though they could be. They’re superb birds of paradise, Lophorina superba, the cape in this case formed by a splendid plumage of black feathers.
People often suggest dancing as an example of activities that are uniquely human. Many species like the bird of paradise have various sorts of mating rituals, which could be described as «dances» by analogy. But dancing means something more specific: the «rhythmic entrainment to music». In other words, dancing isn’t only moving the body in some stereotyped or over-learned fashion. Dancing requires that an individual moves his or her arms, legs, and body in sync with a musical beat. All human cultures ever encountered can do this, and until recently we thought this talent or ability was unique to our species. Until, that is, a celebrity parrot named Snowball knocked us off our place of perceived prominence.
Snowball became famous on the internet when videos were uploaded of the twelve-year-old cockatoo appearing to dance to a Backstreet Boys song. He seems to bob his head up and down in sync with the beat of the song. Sometimes he lifts his feet off his perch, occasionally alternating back and forth between his right and left legs. His crest also seems to raise and lower in rhythm with the music. Could it really be that humans aren’t unique in their abilities to dance?
A sceptic might wonder if perhaps Snowball was simply imitating an off-camera human: an impressive ability in its own right, but not good enough to dance with the stars. But a neuroscientist named Aniruddh D. Patel, of The Neurosciences Institute, in San Diego, California, conducted an experiment to find out if Snowball was truly moving to the music, whether his dancing skills were purely the result of anthropomorphism on the part of human YouTube viewers, or whether it was simply imitation.
Patel took one of the tunes that Snowball was familiar with, a Backstreet Boys song called Everybody, and modified it so that the tempo could be sped up or slowed down from 86 to 130 beats per minute, without altering the song’s pitch. The researchers took video recordings of the bird’s movements while the songs were playing. After analysing their videos, they found that Snowball’s dance steps were synchronized to the music. The parrot had moves, after all.
Signs of desire
Was Snowball an oddball, or is dancing widespread elsewhere in the animal kingdom? A second group of researchers ploughed through YouTube in search of data, and wound up with 1,019 uploaded videos that claimed to show non-human animals dancing. After a careful analysis, the researchers were left with evidence of dancing in fifteen species. Fourteen of those were, like Snowball, different kinds of parrot. The fifteenth example was an Asian elephant.
One thing that parrots, humans, and elephants have in common is that they are all vocal learners, meaning they can change the composition of the sounds they make, by changing pitch or the order of a song, for example. The list of species that YouTubers claim can dance is much longer, including ferrets, dogs, horses, pigeons, cats, fish, lizards, snakes, owls, camels, chimpanzees, turtles, ducks, hamsters, penguins, and bears, but they don’t pass scientific muster. As domestic species like dogs and horses don’t appear have any dancing aptitude, it suggests that this talent doesn’t develop entirely from exposure to music. Its origin lies deeper, within the biology of the species.
Human culture has transformed dancing into a form of art, a means of expression. But beneath that scaffolding lies something far more ancient.
Darwin himself noted the apparent similarities between dance rituals in birds and humans in The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, writing, «the males sometimes pay their court by dancing, or by fantastic antics performed either on the ground or in the air.» He continues, «With birds of paradise a dozen or more full-plumaged males congregate in a tree to hold a dancing-party, as it is called by the natives: and here they fly about, raise their wings, elevate their exquisite plumes, and make them vibrate, and the whole tree seems, as Mr. [Alfred] Wallace remarks, to be filled with waving plumes…One observer, who kept several pairs alive, did not doubt that the display of the male was intended to please the female.»
If Darwin was right, and dancing is used as a means for selecting mates – then dancing ability might correlate with the genetic quality of the dancer. In other words, dancing ability might serve as a signal that communicates one’s own desirability as a mate. In 2005, William Brown and colleagues from Rutgers University and the University of Washington published a paper in Nature demonstrating that this might indeed be the case.
The researchers used motion capture technology to record people dancing to the same song. They also calculated, for each dancer, the degree to which their bodies were symmetrical. Previous research has indicated that this feature, called fluctuating asymmetry, is related to a person’s attractiveness, whether based on odour, voice, or facial appearance. (Note, however, that the use of this measurement is controversial.)
The researchers showed animations, derived from the motion capture process, to 155 people and asked them to rate the dance abilities of the cartoon dancers. They found that males who were more symmetrical were thought of as better dancers than males who were more asymmetrical. (Video samples of symmetrical and asymmetrical dancers can be found here.) Symmetry explained nearly half of the total variation in dance ability for the men.
Symmetrical females were also rated as better dancers than their asymmetrical counterparts, but this only explained less than one quarter of the variation in their dance skills. What this means is that dance ability was a more useful indicator of one’s quality as a prospective mate for men than for women, a pattern that would be expected in species where females are thought to be the more selective sex. At least three other research groups have found evidence to support the notion that differences in dance ability among human males reflects some underlying biological or genetic quality, and that females are attentive to those differences.
Both dancing and courtship are, of course, made more complicated and more elaborate thanks to human culture. Strip away that culture, though, and the distinctions among species melt away. When it comes to the birds and the bees, humans might be more like the birds than they realise.
As dance aficionados can attest to the fact that attending a dance performance can be a truly invigorating experience. From the dancers’ flexibility and rhythm, to the lavish costumes and mesmerizing music, dance presentations have a vast appeal with plenty to offer to those of varied tastes. But despite the visual “wow” factor, we asked ourselves why should dance be limited to a spectator sport for non-professionals who enjoy the art form? Surely there are many benefits to individual’s participating in dance, as opposed to just sitting back and watching. To this end, we’ve dusted off our pointe shoes in order to point our readers in the right direction on what experiencing dance first hand can offer.
Health & Fitness:
Something you will never experience by merely watching a dance performance, as opposed to taking a dance class or just dancing for fun, is a good old-fashioned cardiovascular workout to get the blood flowing and the calories burning. Not only will dancing help to reduce your blood pressure, lower harmful cholesterol, and increase your flexibility and muscle tone, it will also help you lose weight, making that tutu fit too, too well! Just to give you a few examples and an approximate idea of how many calories you can expect to shed in an hour, per dance type: Salsa burns 405 to 480, Ballet burns 380 to 450, Swing 300 to 550, Ballroom dancing between 150 and 320, Tap zaps 200 to a whopping 700 an hour, depending on pace.
Professional dancing obviously requires confidence, especially when performing in front of an audience. While your goals might not include gracing the Broadway stage, taking dancing classes or just hitting a dance routine regularly or on the dance floor of your favorite night spot, is enough exercise to release beta-endorphins into your blood stream. These, in turn, increase feelings of well-being. And the awesome side benefits? The regular aerobic exercise helps to contour your body and the increased stamina and strength does wonders for your self-assurance when you walk into a room.
Exposure to New Cultures:
One of the many wonderful aspects of dance is that it transcends all cultures, bridging societal differences with the commonalities of artistic expression. Classes in Tango, Flamenco, Belly Dancing and others open the door to cultural exploration, not only in the dances of other countries, but also in their foods and customs. You will surely be inspired to take in some delish Latin food after a heavy session of Salsa dancing, for instance. And the great thing is you also get the opportunity to meet others from varied backgrounds, while all coming together in an enjoyable and social activity.
Divergent thinking is a key factor in creativity, and dancing promotes this wonderfully. Sometimes it’s difficult to find regular opportunities to exercise the imagination, especially if you spend most of your day at a non-creative job. Through dance, you can flex your creative muscles and feed your inventive side. Dance allows you to come up with your own routines, and lets your body channel your ideas without worrying about strict limitations or deadlines. Improvising and experimenting with new moves on the dance floor is definitely a creative highpoint that’s very achievable.
Transcend gender roles:
When considering dance classes, your gender shouldn’t be a determining factor. Traditionally, there are many examples of defined gender roles in dance, particularly in ballet, where the male dancer is always lifting the woman, even though both male and female ballet dancers have to be extremely strong. But nowadays, there are many types of dancing where these gender roles are abandoned, such as Contact Improv, where the male and female mutually rely on each other physically. Contemporary Dance is another example of gender neutrality in dance, as it can feature two males or two females dancing a duet. Hip Hop also dispenses with gender roles in dance, since both partners are engaging in the exact same movements.
Another great aspect of taking up dancing, is that it can definitely help reduce stress in your life, no matter what type of music you choose to dance to. For example, dancing to slow music provides the equal benefits to stress reduction as does dancing to a fast, upbeat tempo. As long as you are feeling the music, moving your limbs, and swaying your body, dancing will release pent-up tension and allow you to relax. Modern society can be highly stressful, with pressures from jobs, relationships, children, and finances. Dancing provides an outlet to cope with these challenges by releasing calming endorphins into your system, contributing to feelings of well-being and euphoria.
Not only can Dance get you in tune with your innermost thoughts, it also provides an emotional outlet to express these feelings. This is so important because it strengthens your ability to channel these expressive qualities and apply them to your daily life, even when you aren’t dancing.
Reconnecting as a Couple:
Many times, the stress of daily life has a tendency of driving a wedge between couples, whether they are newly together or have been together for ages. Taking dance classes as a couple is a great alternative to traditional couples’ therapy. In a dance class, you’re discovering new steps together, often gazing into each other’s eyes while exploring sexy new ways to connect with each other. Who can deny the heat and passion in dancing the Tango, or being joined in a sensual Bolero? It’s almost like you’ve just started dating again, and what can be more exciting than that?
Perhaps the simplest, yet most powerful reason to enroll in dance classes is that it’s a heck of a lot of fun! Health benefits and stress relief factors aside, it’s hard not to have a good time when you’re dancing. Whether it’s just an hour or two a week, it’s an hour of being free from the daily grind, listening to great music, socializing, and swaying, hopping, twisting around to the beat. And if you’re having a great time doing it, that’s all that matters.
Challenging the Status Quo:
Many people might be apprehensive about trying new things. Let’s face it. Doing something you’ve never done before can be scary sometimes. Jumping into a dance class not only trains you to face your fears of the unknown, but it provides a relatively risk-free environment to experiment with and expand your comfort zone, without worrying about the need for a bungy cord!
No matter which of these reasons appeals the most to you, there’s no denying that dancing provides a host of physical and emotional benefits which all contribute to make you a healthier and more well-rounded individual, while having fun and enhancing your social interactions. How many hobbies can boast that claim without missing a beat?
Why do people dance? Amazing reasons for learning to dance
Some of you started taking dancing lessons when you were children, and this is great for you, because your muscles and mind immediately got into shape. Nowadays you have an amazing relationship with dance, because every song seems to be your favourite one. The ones who started dancing when they were children know that dancing changes their life forever. But if your parents did not enrol you to dancing classes, then it is not too late to start now, even if you are an adult. You have to ask yourself if you want to learn to dance, because you will need determination in order to learn all those steps. You do not have to become a specialist in dancing, if you want to take part to a fun and social activity, but you should give it a try.
You will have an awesome posture
If you decide to try ballet, then you will improve your posture. This dance is the one that shows you how sitting up really feels and looks. After you attend a few classes you will have a great feeling when you will see in the mirror your new posture, and you will definitely want to keep it forever. Also, you will notice that people will start complementing your posture, and this will make you feel great.
You will feel healthier and stronger
Dancing is a way of exercising in a pleasant manner so it will definitely strengthen your muscles and bones. After a few classes you will notice that you are stronger, and this will give you more energy to continue dancing. You may even want to try new dancing styles. If you exercise on a regularly basis you can prevent health issues as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases.
You will meet new friends
The majority of people have difficulties when it comes to making friends. But dancing is a fun way to meet new people, and considering that you share the same hobbies, there are great chances to become lifelong friends. If you want to make new friends then you should attend a Latino dance class, because these classes are a great opportunity to socialize. If you attend the classes for a long period, then you will definitely make friends, and some of them will remain friends for life. If you have watched ballet movies you may have seen that dancers are horrible to each other, but this is not the case when it comes to classes. There will probably be a group of people who will want to draw attention, but it does not mean that they will not be supportive, if you are a beginner.
Dancing trains your brain
If you want to maintain your brain young then you should get involved in as many activities as possible. The majority of people think that dancing and fitness are helpful only for their body, but the fact is that they are great for their general wellbeing. If you strictly come dancing judge Craig you will learn that during dancing classes you will have to learn multiple steps and movements, and this means that you will have to use both sides of your brain. Your brain is the one that learns the steps and movements, and it will help you improve your coordination. Your legs, hands and head will move in a synchronised way.
You will dance basically everywhere
Do you remember that time when you heard a great song when driving and you did not dance because the other drivers were looking at you? Well, after you attend dancing classes you will not care if there is someone looking at you when you dance in your car, because you will be confident. You spend a lot of time in traffic, so instead of being angry because you are caught in a traffic jam, you can relax by playing your favourite song and dancing a little.
You will learn to love yourself
The majority of people are not satisfied with the way they look, and they do not love themselves. But if you attend dancing classes you will load yourself with endorphins and you will see yourself in a new way. There are studies that show that people’s self-esteem is higher when they get involved in activities as exercising and dancing. And because dancing is a way of exercising, you will notice that your body is slowly changing and this will make you love your appearance. Your body will connect with your mind and you will find the feeling extremely rewarding. If you attend ballet classes you will notice that your legs start changing. The arches of your legs will bet bigger and more flexible. Yes, your ankles will probably get tired easier than they used to do it, but you will feel great at the end of every class, so the effort is totally worth.
Dance has existed for thousands of years. Moving your body creatively is a popular way to express yourself and exercise. Up to 10 million Americans have danced at a studio or have taken a class. Even more just dance for fun at home or with friends.
Beyond just movements and music, dancing offers many benefits for mental health and brain function.
Dancing offers plenty of benefits for your emotions, intelligence, and relationships. Learning and practicing dance can:
Improve self-esteem. The amount that you respect and value yourself is your self-esteem. Showing yourself that you can learn and master new moves and skills through dance can improve your self-esteem and confidence.
Help you meet new people. Social interaction between groups of people is important to your mental well-being. Talking and spending time with others improves your mood. It also makes you feel like you belong and eases loneliness.
Dance classes, where you learn and move alongside others, are a great way to gain these mental health benefits.
Improve your mood and attitude. Dancing can improve your mood while you learn, move, and perform. In fact, many people take dance classes because they put them in a good mood.
Ease depression and anxiety. Dance is an effective type of exercise that raises your heart rate and works your muscles. Exercise can help with symptoms of depression and anxiety by releasing certain chemicals in your brain. It also provides a way to escape repetitive negative thoughts and worries. These are thoughts that run through your mind over and over.
Protect your memory. As we age, it gets harder to remember names, places, and other details. Learning new things, like different moves and styles of dance, sharpens your brain’s ability to remember these kinds of details. This can help prevent dementia.
The mental advantages of dancing depend on the type of dance you learn. Styles like ballroom dancing require a large degree of improvisation. These improve your decision-making skills more than completely memorized movements and routines. On the other hand, interpretive modern dance styles offer more benefits for creativity.