The Main Differences Between Non Western, Religious, Social and Folk Dances
Non Western Theatrical dances consist of masks, music and makeup. In Japan their most common is Kabuki, they use makeup to express emotion and their costumes are made from different patterns and colors. In Chinese theatre they use more elegant fabrics with embroidery as well as facial makeup.
There are many different forms of religious/ritual dancing. Religious and ritual dancing is done for a purpose like Medicine dances to cast away bad spirits or Commemorative dances which include the whole community to celebrate an important event. Early on there were also imitation dances to imitate animals and honor their certain qualities. Unlike Non Western theatrical dances, Religious and Ritual dances are performed for a reason.
Social dances on the other hand are meant to socialize and celebrate. A few different types such as Courtship where a couple follow a pattern. There is also work dances where they imitate working whether its the men fishing or women cradling a baby. Another type is War dances which were meant to keep the soldiers fit and to display strength.
Folk dances are dances made to tell a story of a certain persons life or country. Most times it is described as "traditional" because most folk dances tell the stories from the roots of a certain culture or country. This type of dancing is not usually performed on a stage for entertainment but to tell a story of a beginning.
To some everything up, Non Western/ Theatrical dances purpose is for entertainment. Religious/ Ritual dances are performed for a certain reason and is usually being danced for a certain god. Social dances purpose is to celebrate and Folk dances purpose is to keep the origins of our culture alive.