APACHE- FRANCE

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APACHE DANCE, FRANCE

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Closely linked to the “Parisian” street culture is a Western European dance form known as Apache. This highly “dramatic” dance is said to have originated from the streets of the city of Paris located in France. Apparently, this dance is said to have been developed by young members belonging to the “Parisian” underworld commonly referred to as the “Apaches”. Furthermore, the basic step of this dance essentially represents a reenactment of an aggressive discussion between a pimp and a prostitute. In addition, this dance form was popularly used in the 1931 Charlie Chaplin classic “City Lights”.

a. History/origin of the Apache:

According to the cultural history of France, it was towards the end of the 18th century that in the city of Paris a group of young members belonging to the underworld were termed as “Apaches” due to their brutality. It was in the year 1908 that dancers Maurice Mouvet and Max Dearly began regularly visiting bars that were commonly frequented by the “Apaches”.  It was these regular visits to these lowly bars that inspired Mouvet and Dearley to create this dance form by basically imitating aggressive body movements used by a pimp and a prostitute.

b. Costumes used in the Apache:

The costume used in this dance form varies according to the gender, and they are as follows:

1. For males:

The attire worn includes a shirt, a pant, and a cap. In addition, a scarf may also be worn around the waist and the neck.

2. For females:

The attire worn will include a skirt, half sleeve top, and a cap. In addition, the female performer may also use a scarf.

c. Music involved in the Apache:

Not much information regarding the music used in this dance form is available.

d. Training availability and dance technique involved in the Apache:

In terms of technique, this dance involves the use of mock “slaps and punches”. Furthermore, it also involves the male aggressively picking and throwing the female on the ground. As for training centers/schools, there are none around the world since this “dramatic” dance style is mainly performed in the city of Paris in France.

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