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Paper Topic:

Masks in Contemporary Dance and Performance

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Mask in Contemporary Dance and Performance

Mask dances have been handed down through history form generation to generation in various parts of the world . Nepal has various mask dances . Among these are the Mahakali Dance , Lakney Dance , Khyak Dance Kawan Dance and the Devi Daitya Sangram . The use of masks in these dances is to represent gods and demons . The deities in most of these dances were thought to have supernatural powers and as such could not be seen by the regular people

. This is an example where masks have been used to bring to life spirits . Other kinds of beings are also brought to life using masks such as animals , ancestors and clowns . For dance masks are used across cultures for purposes of hiding and revealing They hide the face , personality and character of the wearer but provide a revelation about the character of the person or being the dancer is representing ( HYPERLINK "http /www .worldartswest .org www .worldartswest .org

Culturally , the mask maker is revered in many societies . By working with wood or the available material , he provides a means for the spirits and gods to communicate with the community through his art . The mask-maker therefore provides reinforcement for the strength of the community , enhancing the community 's well being through connecting with its spirituality . The masked performer act as some sort of messenger between worlds for instance in Africa the masked dancers are an embodiment of ancestors , animals and gods . They bring back messages concerning relationship with the world and responsibilities of the community members and ways of maintaining their culture ( HYPERLINK "http /www .worldartswest .org " www .worldartswest .org

In Mexico , masks are used in various performances such as parades and also as a way of honoring the elderly in vigeitos ' dance . The indigenous people of Central and South America have also used masks for their ceremonies and rituals and sometimes a masked dancer may have other functions such as performing as a healer or shaman especially in Korean culture

It has been hypothesized that wearing a mask has a physiological effect of causing new brain connections to form in the reptilian , limbic and neo-cortex parts of the brain ( HYPERLINK "http /www .worldartswest .org " www .worldartswest .org . If true , then a dancer could get new ideas and solutions for conflicts and problems by participating in a masked dance . The use of masks for entertainment goes back several centuries they were used in Ancient Greece , Rome , and Ancient Egypt where they were a fundamental part of drama and comedy The Peking Opera of China has used masks for many years . The Dragon and Lion dancers also make use of giant masks and the descendants of Italian Commedia dell 'Arte also make use of masks . The use of mask like make up such as white face for a mime and a painted down face is also an aspect of employing masks in dance and performance

The traditional and historical use of masks in dances...

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