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.
African dance must be viewed in close connection with African music. People dance in tribes to worship gods. These dances also can teach social patterns and values. The dances represent aspects of tribal life such as work, coming of age, praising the gods, reciting history, proverbs and poetry. Traditional dance in Africa occurs collectively, expressing the life of the community more than that of individuals or couples.