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Passion and Drive Towards the Exquisite Art of Dance: David Outevsky on Preserving the Unspoken History of Dance Practice

Preserving art history holds immense value for artists and the art community. It transports us to the era of its creation, be it a painting, sculpture, or dance, evoking a unique sense of admiration. Altering this history due to political and social reasons, such as colonization, stirs profound emotions among enthusiasts. By safeguarding history, we uphold its unadulterated passion and motivation.

The good news for dance enthusiasts is that now we have dance maestros like David Outevsky, who are advocating for preserving the ancient, original dance forms. The suppression of various dance forms devastates passionate dancers like David, who holds the art close to their hearts. Dances like rumba and cha cha chá were limited to arrangements that were nowhere near the original ones.

Pierre Zurcher Margolie and Doris Lavelle reformed it into the precursor of today’s ‘international’ style rumba. Cha cha chá taught in ballroom dances today does not correspond with the original dance. It is an appropriation having political and social implications. David not only celebrates the art form of dance but also raises questions and clarifies misconceptions surrounding original and copied dance forms.

He rightly points out the unfairness of the situation, noting that “If you had a national cultural dance which was first suppressed, modified to be more ‘civilized,’ and then sold to millions of practitioners as an exotic commodity by the same people who colonized your country, how would you feel about them also appropriating the name of this dance?”

Given this consciousness, David has worked actively to preserve the rich history and culture of this ancient art. As a dancer-turned-academic, he was one of the first people to research the science, culture, and history of dance. He has meticulously given his time to dance history and has been openly vocal about redeeming it.

Moreover, his educational venture, “Outevsky Bespoke Dance Education,” provides courses on the dance history of the 20th century, where he allows his students to compare as well as contrast the choreographers and dance techniques from what they used to be in different historical moments.

David wants to provide his students with the best workshops and historically accurate teachings. For instance, his training on Ballroom and Latin Dances highlights the main issue with ballroom dancing around North America, Europe, and other countries worldwide, problematizing the identification of appropriated Latin ballroom dances as ‘authentic’ in popular culture when they are not even close to the original Latin dances.

David also works to raise awareness regarding original copyrights, pushing the music industry to give the original singer and songwriter their full credit for the accredited remixes. He also encourages theatrical dances where reenactment and re-choreographing of classical pieces give a prefix and credit to the original creators.

The immense task that David has taken over himself is not easy, yet it is surely a noble one. With honest celebrators like him, we are sure that the dance industry will learn to honor the rightful ancestors.

Alice Jacqueline is a creative writer. Alice is the best article author, social media, and content marketing expert. Alice is a writer by day and ready by night. Find her on Twitter and on Facebook!

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