Dance has long been considered the earliest art form, but it has been elusive to capture and difficult to document.  Hence, scant records of dance movements exist.

Fortunately, artists throughout time have depicted  dancers on cave walls, pottery, tapestries, marble, parchment, canvas, and most recently on computer screens.

Egyptian tomb mural, 3200 BC

Claudia and Clive (digital art), 1985 AD
Judith Gray

Some of the most intimately revealing paintings of dancers are those that present couples in each other’s arms.

Doris Humphrey, a pioneer of twentieth century modern dance, believed that “the lines of both dancers must be simplified and not appear contrived or complex so as to complement each other and not distract the viewer.”

Humphrey ardently felt that the dancer’s art had something to say which could not be expressed in words or in any other way than by dancing.

Could this be true?  Haven’t the visual artists also captured this intimacy and simplicity in their paintings?  What do you think?

Dance at Bougival, 1883
Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The Singing Butler, 1992
Jack Vettriano

Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines dance their hearts out!
  Click here if unable to view the video.

Guest Contributor: Judith A. Gray, Ph.D. National Dance Scholar award recipient and author of 3 dance books

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