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I absolutely enjoyed your dance.

Vs

I absolutely enjoyed your dancing.

/If I were to ignore the word performance./

What’s the difference?

2

dance refers to the choreographed "work", the artistic presentation, the performance as an aesthetic unity.

dancing refers to the dancer's movement and performance.

  • True, but if my niece asked me, "What did you think?" after I'd attended her dance recital, I think I could say either one of the OP's sentences and they would be interpreted as largely one in the same. Put another way, if I answered, "I absolutely enjoyed your dancing," I'd be very surprised if she replied, "Yes, but what about the dance?" – J.R. Nov 29 '18 at 21:27
  • How can we tell the dancer from the dance? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 29 '18 at 21:49
  • Yes, my point exactly. – J.R. Nov 29 '18 at 21:57
  • I bet you could say to your niece, I didn't really get that part of the dance where the lead dancer moves across the floor as though she's walking barefoot on very hot sand, but I really liked your dancing. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 29 '18 at 22:02

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