Philosophers have had comparatively little to say of the art of dance, a surprising fact given the range of people both inside and outside of dance who have claimed that 'man has always danced.' This essay attempts to substantiate this claim by an inquiry into the origins of dance, its focal attention being on the word always and any linkage to males deriving from that focal point of attention. It begins with evolutionary considerations in the form of courtship displays, behaviors finely and extensively described by Darwin, and goes on to consider displays by chimpanzees in particular. These considerations point toward pan-cultural as well as evolutionary origins. The essay proceeds to show how bipedality, a qualitative kinetics, rhythm, and play enter into and affirm evolutionary continuities and the pan-culturality of dance.

Included in

Aesthetics Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.