Unit X: World Dance

Hula: is a dance form accompanied by chant (oli) or song (mele). It was developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there. The hula dramatizes or portrays the words of the oli or mele in a visual dance form. Hula dancing is a complex art form, and there are many hand motions used to represent the words in a song or chant. For example, hand movements can signify aspects of nature, such as the swaying of a tree in the breeze or a wave in the ocean, or a feeling or emotion, such as fondness or yearning. Foot and hip movements often pull from a basic library of steps including the kaholo, ka'o, kawelu, hela, 'uwehe, and 'ami.  There are other related dances that come from other Polynesian islands such as Tahiti, The Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand (maori) however, the hula is unique to the Hawaiian Islands.

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1. Chinese Lion Dance

Chinese Dance: The Lion dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture, in which performers mimic a lion's movements in a lion costume. The story goes that once upon a time a monk had a dream in which there were many sorrows and evils plaguing the land. The monk prayed and asked the gods how he could prevent these evils from occurring. The gods told him that a lion would protect them and fight back the evils. The Chinese people had never seen a lion before, but had heard stories that the lion was the king of all the other animals, so the monk combined all the lucky or magical animals he could think of and so made a lion. The Dragon dance is a form of traditional dance and performance in Chinese culture. The Dragon is also the emblem of Imperial Authority. It symbolizes supernatural power, goodness, fertility, vigilance and dignity.

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