Wednesday, August 22, 2018

American Modern Dance: The Beginning

American Modern Dance: The Beginning
Isadora Duncan is said to be the 'mother' of Modern dance. She danced barefoot and wore simple tunics. Her movements were sweepy and fluid. Watch a video of one of her dances here!
Martha Graham
Two of the most famous Modern Dance choreographers to come out of the Denishawn School were Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey. Although they were not particular rivals, their approach and interpretation to modern dance were polar opposites.
Martha Graham's movement and dances were inspired by the deep psyche and tended to be more sharp and direct.
Doris Humphrey's dances were more superficially driven and her movement was soft and gentle.
Watch the differences here: Graham Humphrey
Several important Modern Dance choreographers followed in the footsteps of these pioneers.
Some include: Alvin AileyMerce CunninghamTwyla Tharp, and Lester Horton among many others.
These choreographers found their voice by discovering their own personal movement technique and style. This trend continues today into contemporary modern!

Why Break Away From Ballet?

Come the early 1900's, several budding artists wished to create dance that shed the superfluous qualities that ballet came with. These artists wished to present dance in a more 'raw' format void of stories and characters, as well as create a physical form of expressing more grounded and heavy emotional qualities through movement.
Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn were soon to follow Isadora Duncan's ideas. Together they started the Denishawn School, a training academy that incubated several up and coming Modern dancers. St. Denis was interested in oriental styles of movement and music. Watch one of her dances here!

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