Dance is a powerful mode of communicating in a visceral way. Before the invention of written languages, dance was a primary method of passing stories down from generation to generation. Dance is an intrinsic part of life on many levels--social, ceremonial, competitive, eroctic, martial or sacred. Dance plays an important role in forging a collective identity, embodying a culture's history and values, and providing the means to connect physically, emotionally and as a community. At the same time, dance is a universal language; while some of the gestures and movements may be nuanced, a dance performance is an artistic experience that clearly conveys the many dimensions of the human condition.