There are influences of earlier moves in every generation of dance. The Charleston or a classic two-step, for example. Even the Running Man has its roots steeped in more traditional dance.
To better explore this topic, and actually see the dances that paved the way for the styles that we see today, you would need research way back to the mid-1800s. Or you can simply check out a national touring exhibit that just opened at the Boulder Public Library.
The exhibit, “America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: The First 100,” explores the cultural and artistic impact that different dances have made throughout the last two centuries. It’s on tour from Washington, D.C., and celebrates the movements, institutions and artists who shaped American dance.
The exhibit includes mounted panels, 50 moving images of performance excerpts and an interactive audio-visual kiosk. Cultural icons such as Fred Astaire and Twyla Tharp are featured, as well as images from other dance influences such as Native American traditions.
Boulder’s Dance Bridge brought the exhibit to town in honor of Boulder’s 5th Annual “Celebrate Dance Month” that features activities, performances, classes, workshops and events throughout April.
Dance has changed immensely over the years, but it is important to appreciate the foundation and realize that the dance moves we are currently performing out at the clubs may have started in a ballroom.
“America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: The First 100,” daily through April 30, at Boulder Public Library Canyon Gallery, 1000 Canyon Blvd.