Modern Package Info Grade 9 Dance

Modern Package Info!
end of the 18th century
artists were rebelling against traditional rules
o revolting against societal norms
o embraced the exotic, unfamiliar, harnessed the power of the
imagination to envision and escape
rebellion against ballet began the evolution of modern dance
artists were looking for new inspirations
In Europe, Serge Diaghilev led the Russian Ballets and introduced avantgarde musicians (avant-garde= experimental or innovative, pushing the
boundaries of the norm)
Vaslav Nijinsky choreographed notable “The Rite of Spring” by musician
Stravinsky (regarded as scandalous by the public)
Isadora Duncan:
o created her own style based on person emotion
o Broke societal rules
o Not a technical dancer, danced barefoot
o Found inspiration in Greek dances
o First generation modern dancer, along with: Ruth St. Denis, Ted
Shawn, Maude Allen, and Loie Fuller
o Simple dances related to nature
o Didn’t care what her dances looked like- she found beauty in natural
expressive movement
o Refused to dance anything other than her own creations
o Strongly rejected conventions
o Her dancing and choreography was free from all unnecessary
ornamentation (nothing fancy, raw!)
o Lived a tragic life! Which is relevant because it could have inspired
her to dance with such raw emotions
o She died dramatically by her scarf getting stuck in the wheels of her
automobile and strangled her
Loie Fuller:
o Contribution to modern dance: introduced extraordinary lighting
effects during performance (with combination of the way she paired
her costuming with her lighting design)
Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn:
o Adaptation of oriental dances
o Religious and mythical subjects
o Creation of “Denishawn” school in Los Angeles in 1915
o Formed a company to show the public that dance was not just and art
for women
Martha Graham:
o Most famous in the generation of modern pioneers
o Developed a unique kind of movement that is still vastly studied
o She made the body assume postures of great tension and contortions
that were not natural to the human body
o Her technique was based on contraction
o “Night Journey” example (youtube)
o Studied and taught at “Denishawn” and later started their own
o Created simple pieces such as “Water Study” example (youtube)
Lester Horton:
o Interested in the cultures of ethnic minorities
Helen Tamiris:
o Interested in musical comedies as a source of inspiration
Hanya Holm:
o American and German inspirations and collaborations
Jose Limon:
o Torn between old styles and creating his own
Merce Cunningham:
o New choreographers rejected makeup on stage and the necessity of
music was questioned – it was decorative and unimportant – it was all
about the dancing
o Collaborated with John Cage (musician)
o Introduced the idea of improvisation, even in choreography
o Dancing his way required a lot of discipline. Each dancer was to
develop his own movement according to his personal rhythm
o Cunningham choreographed not knowing which music would
accompany the dancing (music was NEVER a starting point for him)
Arwin Nikolais:
o Imagined the dance world as a giant kaleidoscope where movement
blended with light and colors in harmony
o ALL dancers wore the exact same thing, regardless of gender – putting
all bodies on the same level