He said they were three,—φορά, σχῆμα, and δεῖξις. For dancing is made up of motion and manner (σχέσις), as a song of sounds and stops; stops are the ends of motion. Now the motions they call φοραί, and the gestures and likeness to which the motions tend, and in which they end, they call σχήματα: as, for instance, when by their own motions they represent the figure of Apollo, Pan, or any of the raging Bacchae. The third, δεῖξις, is not an imitation, but a plain downright indication of the things represented. For the poets, when they would speak of Achilles, Ulysses, the earth, or heaven, use their proper names, and such as the vulgar usually understand. But for the more lively representation, they use words which by their very sound express some eminent quality in the thing, or metaphors; [p. 458] as when they say that streams do ‘babble and flash;’ that arrows fly ‘desirous the flesh to wound;’ or when they describe an equal battle by saying ‘the fight had equal heads.’ They have likewise a great many significative compositions in their verses. Thus Euripides of Perseus,
He that Medusa slew, and flies in air;and Pindar of a horse,
When by the smooth Alpheus' banksand Homer of a race,
He ran the race, and never felt the spur;
The chariots, overlaid with tin and brass,So in dancing, the σχῆμα represents the shape and figure, the φορά shows some action, passion, or power; but by the δεῖξις are properly and significatively shown the things themselves, for instance, the heaven, earth, or the company. Which, being done in a certain order and method, resembles the proper names used in poetry, decently clothed and attended with suitable epithets. As in these lines,
By fiery horses drawn ran swiftly on.
Themis the venerable and admired,And in these,
And Venus beauteous with her bending brows,
Dione fair, and Juno crowned with gold.
From Hellen kings renowned for giving laws,For if poets did not take this liberty, how mean, how grovelling and flat, would be their verse! As suppose they wrote thus,
Great Dorus and the mighty Xuthus, sprang,
And Aeolus, whose chief delight was horse.
From this came Hercules, from the other Iphitus.[p. 459]
Her father, husband, and her son were kings,
Her brother and forefathers were the same;The same faults may be committed in that sort of dancing called δεῖξις, unless the representation be lifelike and graceful, decent and unaffected. And, in short, we may aptly transfer what Simonides said of painting to dancing, and call dancing mute poetry, and poetry speaking dancing; for poesy doth not properly belong to painting, nor painting to poesy, neither do they any way make use of one another. But poesy and dancing have much in common, especially in that sort of song called Hyporchema, in which is the most lively representation imaginable, dancing doing it by gesture, and poesy by words. So that poesy may bear some resemblance to the colors in painting, while dancing is like the lines which mark out the features of the face. And therefore he who was the most famous writer of Hyporchemes, who here even outdid himself,4 sufficiently evidenceth that these two arts stand in need of one another. For, whilst he sings these songs,... he shows what tendency poetry hath to dancing; whilst the sound excites the hands and feet, or rather as it were by some cords distends and raiseth every member of the whole body; so that, whilst such songs are pronounced or sung, they cannot be quiet. But now-a-days no sort of exercise hath such bad depraved music applied to it as dancing; and so it suffers that which Ibycus as to his own concerns was fearful of, as appears by these lines,
And she in Greece was called Olympias.
I fear lest, losing fame amongst the Gods,For having associated to itself a mean paltry sort of music, and falling from that divine sort of poetry with which it was formerly acquainted, it rules now and domineers [p. 460] amongst foolish and inconsiderate spectators, like a tyrant, it hath subjected nearly the whole of music, but hath lost all its honor with excellent and wise men. These, my Sossius Senecio, were almost the last discourses which we had at Ammonius's house during the festival of the Muses.
I shall receive respect from men alone.