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  DANCE DURING THE TRANSITION FROM THE RURAL TO THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT AND TO THE CYBERSPACE  
     
 

 Dance which is examined "in the process of the social transition to the Urban environment" as a timeless social event, is encountered in its transformation through the developing course of time, where the new forms of the dancing process within the urban environment are not considered to be inferior. In addition to the investigative postulations in relation to traditional society, the urbanizing conditions and the elements that have transformed the dance event into the environment of Urban centres constitute valuable information material for emphasizing the existing relation between dance, social environment and the values that are related to dance, in its various forms of cultural survival.

 
     
 
 

* The partial or entire republication of articles and texts is prohibited without the written approval of Greek Dance Archives

 

Dance during the Transition from the Rural to the Urban Environment and to

Cyberspace

 Christos Tentzerakis

President "Greek Dance Archives"

 

The study of dance presents a matter of special interest as it provides us with information about society itself and its moral, cultural and aesthetic values, which are impressed into the dance experience.

Dance which is examined "in the process of the social transition to the Urban environment" as a timeless social event, is encountered in its transformation through the developing course of time, where the new forms of the dancing process within the urban environment are not considered to be inferior. In addition to the investigative postulations in relation to traditional society, the urbanizing conditions and the elements that have transformed the dance event into the environment of Urban centres constitute valuable information material for emphasizing the existing relation between dance, social environment and the values that are related to dance, in its various forms of cultural survival.

 

Dance, as an embodied memory, has gained distinction in the traditional environment as a composite medium for imprinting society, and simultaneously as a source for memory and consequently for history. It embodies the social and cultural knowledge of the community and with the repetitiveness of the dancing exhibitions it re-enacts and transmits it to the newer generations, assuring by this method its cultural continuity.

The period of transition to the contemporary urbanized environment is a deep incision into a century old traditional process. The decline in the collective memory – a consequence of urbanization and the subsequent social re-organisation - undermines the symbolical systems of communication (Dance, Music, song, etc), which results in many dancing traditions and rituals falling into disuse or being lost since the reasons that maintained them in the rural environment are disappearing.

In many villages today in the countryside, feasts and active dancing, continue to survive by maintaining within their ritual framework many of the elements of traditional society. However they remain in the social limelight for another use and other functions that are related to sociability, local identity, exposure, the role of the sexes, competition, entertainment, but mainly through a renewal of the relation between the expatriate townspeople and their birth place. However, they remain in the social limelight for other uses and functions related to sociability, local identity, exposure, the role of the sexes, competition, entertainment, but mainly because of the relationship between expatriate townspeople and their place of birth.

 

The creation of associations and the teaching of dancing as an element of social cohesion and identity originated in the urban environment as a result of the people’s need not to be cut off from their roots. Through the operation of associations and dance performances younger generations "mnemonically" come into contact with tradition. In this way, the cultural bodies also operate as conduits and sources with new dancers, the various dance performances and the festivals in the provinces where the new generation of "urban dancers" also participates «through experience».

The performances that are organised by the cultural vehicles for their members have often replaced the meeting on the traditional dance floor. They have a lot of sentimental value for the participants; they preserve many of the elements of the local cultures and contribute to the preservation of social cohesion for the members – expatriates and their communication with their special place of origin.

 

Dance in CYBERSPACE

From the natural environment of the town to the Electronic area – “Global Village”

 

In the age of universalism, the world of dance, (Associations, dance instructors, researchers, organizers of performances, etc), is of specific significance to the gathering and the management of information that is related either to dances (Music, steps, costumes, etc), or the dance performances (Festivals, Gatherings, etc). This information is beneficial to the enrichment of their repertoire, for their communication with other cultural bodies and their participation in various festivals and manifestations.

In the age of the Internet and Universalism, a simple click on our computer is all it takes to bridge the distance that separates us from all the information that is relevant to dancing and contact with the bodies that provide it.

«… The admission of Greece (1981) into the European Union coincides with a period when “the whole world is becoming a large village”, with products and interests that are becoming even more common. The community is shrinking as a physical entity but it is also expanding into infinity through the Communication Media. Commencing from the telephone, the radio, the photographed publications and arriving at the television, the mobile phone or the Internet, urbanity is not based as much on co-existence in the same area as on electronic communication. It is a new form of Settlement, the so-called Cyber-urbanity…. » Harry Kambouridis, «Techne Poliouhos - 2ï Folklore Symposium G.D.A.» Ioannina, May 2003.