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Dance and theatre The performing arts have received comparatively little attention in the otherwise rich literature of the Islamic peoples. This is most probably a result of the suspicions entertained by some orthodox Muslim scholars concerning the propriety of dance and theatre.

Because this applies particularly in relation to the vexing theological question of human portrayal and its connection with idolatry , the performing arts have traditionally been regarded by the faithful with more than usual caution. Even as late as the 19th and early 20th centuries, most research on the subject, in what may loosely be called the Islamic world , was carried out by Western scholars, chiefly from European nations, and only in the 20th century did indigenous scholars start publishing significant research on the subject.

There are no known references to dance or theatre in pre-Islamic Arabia, although nomad tribes were probably acquainted with dance. Nevertheless, there has been an active tradition of folk dance in most Islamic countries, in addition to dancing as an entertainment spectacle and, particularly in Persia, as an art form. A ritual dance was instituted in the Sufi mystical order of the Mawlawiyyah Mevleviyah in Turkey; performed by dervishes members of the mystical order , it is considered to be a manifestation of mystical ecstasy rather than an entertainment or an expression of aesthetic urges.

Dervishes performing a ritual dance, Konya, Tur. Nevertheless, the theatre with live actors received support from the Ottomans in Turkey, and a live popular drama was strong in Persia, where a passion play also took root.

Otherwise, the theatrical record of Islam is meagre. Moreover, few neighbouring peoples had a well-developed theatre of their own. Hence, outside stimulus was lacking, and the Islamic disapproval of idolatry was so intense that when the shadow theatre evolved in the East, in the late Middle Ages, the puppets were regularly punched with holes to show that they were lifeless.

A popular theatre, frequently including dance, evolved independently from about the 17th century in some Muslim countries. Western European and, later, U. But conservative Muslims have consistently disapproved of theatre, and in Saudi Arabia , for example, no native theatrical establishment exists. The aristocracy was quick to imitate this patronage by providing similar performances, its members vying with one another on festive occasions. Since the latter part of the 19th century, the dancing profession has lost ground to the performance of U.

In a reaction that set in after World War II , fervent nationalists have tried to create native dance troupes, revive traditional motifs in costume and interpretation, and adapt tribal figures to modern settings. Few traditional dances have survived unchanged; among those that have are the dervish dances, performed mainly in Turkey.

Folk dance Though now performed and fostered chiefly as an expression of national culture , folk dances were long regarded as pure entertainment and were either combined with theatrical shows or presented alone. Dance performances, accompanied by music, took place in a special hall or outdoors; many dancers, particularly the males, were also mimes.

Sometimes the dance enacted a pantomime, as in Turkey, of physical love or of a stag hunt. Folk dance, except in Iran, has almost always been mimetic or narrative, a tradition still fostered by many tribes.

Dance as entertainment The Turks considered dancing a profession for the lowborn; as a result, most dancers were members of minority groups—mostly Greeks, Jews, and Armenians. This judgment has usually applied to the status of professional dancers and indeed to most professional entertainers at most periods and in most societies until modern times. In 19th-century Egypt both male and female dancers were regarded as public entertainers.

The erotic element in dancing became focused in the belly dance, which has become the leading form of exhibition dance in modern Turkey and the Arab countries. Courtesy of the trustees of the British Museum; photograph, J. Yet in the late 20th century theatre was increasingly divorced from dance, most plays being consciously modeled on European patterns; only in the operetta does the old combination remain. Dance as an art form In pre-Islamic times in Iran , dance was both an art form and a popular entertainment.

There are pictures of dancers in miniatures, on pottery , and on walls, friezes, and coins. Women were permitted to dance in private, however, as in the harem. Iran is perhaps the only Muslim country with a tradition of dance regarded as an art form.

When revived after World War II, folk dancing was encouraged and adapted for the foundation of a national ballet. Accordingly, although there are many detailed treatises on Islamic music, none is available on dance. Dervish dancing There is one outstanding example of pure dance: The procedure is part of a Muslim ceremony called the dhikr , the purpose of which is to glorify God and seek spiritual perfection.

Not all dervish orders dance; some simply stand on one foot and move the other foot to music. The performance, for which all the participants don tall conical hats and black mantles, takes place in a large hall in the tekke , the building in which the dervishes live. The dervishes sit in a circle listening to music. Then, rising slowly, they move to greet the shaykh, or master, and cast off the black coat to emerge in white shirts and waistcoats. They keep their individual places with respect to one another and begin to revolve rhythmically.

They throw back their heads and raise the palms of their hands, a symbol of giving and taking. The rhythm accelerates, and they whirl faster and faster. In this way they enter a trance in an attempt to lose their personal identities and to attain union with the Almighty. Later they may sit, pray, and begin all over again. The dhikr ceremony always ends with a prayer and a procession. Theatre In lands where the Sunni sect was strong, mime shows were frequent and popular attractions during the later Middle Ages.

The Ottoman sultans were accompanied on military campaigns by their own troupe of actors; and, as the Ottoman Empire grew larger and richer, the court became ever more partial to entertainment, whether at the accession of a sultan , a royal wedding, a circumcision, an official visit, or a victory. On such occasions, dances and theatrical performances played their part along with parades, fireworks, music, mock fights, and circus performances in one huge, sumptuous pageant.

This lavishing of entertainment reached a height of splendour that the admiring Ottoman aristocracy strove to imitate throughout the empire. In Arabia and North Africa , popular shows on a lesser scale were performed in the open air. Another aspect of the Islamic theatre was represented in the shadow plays, which were given chiefly to pass the time during the month of fasting, Ramadan the sacred ninth month of the Muslim year.

For generations this largely theatrical event served as a focal point of the year, gripping audiences in total involvement with its blend of symbolism and realism. Mime shows In the medieval Muslim theatre, mime shows aimed to entertain rather than to uplift their audiences. Some plays were on historical themes, but preference was for comedies or farces with an erotic flavour. The audience was largely composed of the poor and uneducated.

A rudimentary theatrical form, the mime show long enjoyed widespread popularity in Anatolia and other parts of the Ottoman Empire. Called meddah eulogist or mukallit imitator in Turkish, the mimic had many similarities to his Classical Greek forerunners.

Basically, he was a storyteller who used mimicry as a comic element, designed to appeal to his largely uneducated audience. By gesture and word he would imitate animals, birds, or local dialects; he was very popular in Arabic- and Turkish-speaking areas.

Even today he has not been wholly supplanted in the Islamic world by literacy or by such modern entertainments as radio , television, and the cinema. Sometimes several meddahs performed together, and this may have been the source of a rural theatrical performance.

Ortaoyunu The ortaoyunu middle show was the first type of genuine theatre the Turks, and possibly other Muslim peoples, ever had. The Ottoman sultans provided subsidies for ortaoyunu companies of actors, who consequently became generally accepted; also some were retained by the princes of the Romanian principalities under Ottoman rule.

The fact that they continued to enjoy popularity to World War I may be explained by their simple dramatic appeal, which was coupled with sharp satire of the well-to-do and the ruling classes but hardly ever of Islam. This irreverence frequently resulted in fines and imprisonment for the actors, but it never produced a basic change of style. During the 19th and 20th centuries the ortaoyunu was generally performed in an open square or a large coffeehouse. There was no stage, and props were simple: An orchestra of about four musicians enlivened the show and gave the performers, who were all male, their cues.

Roles were generally stereotyped, with stock characters, such as a dandy, the foreign physician, and regional types Kurds, Albanians, Armenians, Arabs, and Jews quarreling and fighting in slapstick style.

Mimicry was important, and some actors changed roles and costumes. The plot was flimsy, a mere frame for the dialogue , which was itself frequently improvised. Its essence, like that of the mime shows, was entertainment without moral import, and few plays were recorded in writing beyond a sketch of the action.

Most were comedies and farces that were performed for the enjoyment of an audience that was, for the most part, very poor and uneducated. This art apparently came from China or perhaps from Southeast Asia , as the French term ombres chinoises indeed hints, though the prevailing element of the grotesque was probably inherited from ancient Greece by way of Byzantium.

The puppets , which are flat and made of leather, are controlled by the puppeteers with rods and are placed behind the screen. A standard shadow play has three main elements: The former is a simple, commonsense fellow, while the latter is more formal and polished, if shallow and pedantic.

The dialogue between the two varies with the occasion but always contains impromptu repartee , though most puppet masters have at least 28 different plots in stock—a different one for each night of Ramadan. Some are historical, many ribald, but all are popular entertainment. Additional characters or animals may be introduced, calling for great skill on the part of the puppet master and his assistant in manipulating several simultaneously as well as in reciting the text in changing tones and playing music.

Some have one or two musicians to help. Mimicry and caricature , while essential to both the meddah and the ortaoyunu, are technically more developed in the shadow play. Here entire productions are based on a comedy of manners or of character. They were performed in the 13th century and display humour and satire and the lampooning of matchmaking and marriage. These plays also introduce a parade of popular contemporary characters, many of whom earn their living in shady or amusing trades.

Iran had inherited a considerable theatrical tradition from pre-Islamic times, and it is not surprising that a popular comic theatre flourished there. At least five puppets appeared, and singing was an integral part of a production that sometimes resembled Italian and French puppet shows. The ortaoyunu, particularly in the region of Azerbaijan , is almost identical with the Turkish form of the same name.

Both the shadow play and the passion play were interlarded with musical prologues, accompaniment, and interludes, but these were not necessarily an integral part, serving rather to create a mood. Some plays are satirical, directed against wrongdoers, but most form a set of tragedies, performed as passion plays on those 10 successive days.

Sometimes men walk in the processions with heads hidden and collars bloodied, all part of a pageant dating from the 9th or 10th century. Indeed, the audience identifies itself so closely with the play that foreigners have, on occasion, been manhandled.

The decor too is half realistic and half symbolic: The stage effects are frequently overdone, and this clearly further excites the audience.

The horses are real, although most of the other animals are played by humans. In general, the actors, though chiefly nonprofessional, infect the audience with their enthusiasm and absorption. Dance and theatre in modern times Developments in dance Insofar as dance is related to the modern theatre, there is little difference between Muslim production and its European or American counterpart.

Waman llahu fama lahu min hadin. And whom God leads astray, there is for him no right guide. 'al-Qur'an, Surah 39, Verse Islam,, is the religion founded by the Prophet word is sometimes said to mean "peace," but it is salam,, that is the word for peace. Islam means "submission, resignation," i.e. to the will of God.. Both . The Term "Byzantine Empire" The name Byzantine Empire is derived from the original Greek name for Constantinople; Byzantium. The name is a modern term and would have been alien to its contemporaries.

Total 1 comments.
#1 15.01.2019 Š² 04:29 Vagabondz:
I must admit, the aftar was cool.