Modern dance

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Modern dance is often performed in bare feet, with non-traditional costuming.
Revelations performed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in 2011

Modern dance is related to ballet, but aims at different types of performance, as compared to the classical ballets. Many of its dancers have been trained in ballet, and modern dance companies are rather similar to ballet companies. Here the word "modern" is not used to mean "recent". Modern dance is over a century old, having begun (in this sense) around 1900.

The phrase 'modern dance' is also applied to ballroom dance of the English (now 'International') style. However, this page uses Modern dance as a term to describe 20th century concert dance, on stage. The modern dance style does not have set rules. Modern dancers often create their own dance routines using their emotions and moods but, on the other hand, many performances are choreographed.

Also modern dancing does not require specific costumes. So modern dancers often dance barefoot and choose whatever they want to wear. Modern dancers try to show their innermost emotions through dancing, often trying to get closer to their inner-selves. Modern dance has evolved continually. Artistic content has changed and shifted from one choreographer to another, as have styles and techniques.

History[change | change source]

Modern dance was developed in the 20th century, mainly in the United States and Germany. In the early 1900s, several female dancers began rebelling against the strict rules of classical ballet.

The pioneers of modern dance in the United States were Isadora Duncan, Loie Fuller, Ruth St. Denis and Martha Graham. The pioneers of Germany were Rudolf Von Laban and Mary Wigman.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. Roseman J.L. 2004. Dance was her religion: the spiritual choreography of Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis and Martha Graham. Hohm Press. ISBN 1-890772-38-0

Further reading[change | change source]

  1. Bedinghaus, Treva. What is modern dance? About.com
  2. Love P. 1997. Modern dance terminology: the ABC's of modern dance as defined by its originators. Independent Publishers. ISBN 0-87127-206-7