Music is an independent, primary art; the dance is not. In view of their
division of labor, the dance is entirely dependent on music. With the emotional
assistance of music, it expresses an abstract meaning; without music, it
becomes meaningless gymnastics. It is music, the voice of man’s consciousness,
that integrates the dance to man and to art. Music sets the terms; the task of
the dance is to follow, as closely, obediently and expressively as possible.
The tighter the integration of a given dance to its music—in rhythm, in mood,
in style, in theme—the greater its esthetic value.
A clash between dance and music is worse than a clash between actor and play:
it is an obliteration of the entire performance. It permits neither the music
nor the dance to be integrated into an esthetic entity in the viewer’s
mind—and it becomes a series of jumbled motions superimposed on a series of