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MODERN DANCE: THE ART OF THE ICONOCLAST

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Ballet requires a 'deformed skeleton' and 'sterile movements' whose 'purpose is ... Modern dance has challenged ballet's stereotypical requirements for dancers: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: MODERN DANCE: THE ART OF THE ICONOCLAST


1
MODERN DANCETHE ART OF THE ICONOCLAST
  • THREE QUESTIONS (AND ANSWERS TO FOLLOW).
  • 1. How has the development of modern dance
    revolutionized dance performance?
  • 2. Isadora Duncan (1877-1927), Martha Graham
    (1894-1991), and Katherine Dunham (1909) each had
    her own vision of what dance should say. How
    were their views similar? How were there views
    different? What is each ultimately known for?
  • 3. How does modern dance make dance more
    accessible to everyone (ie, Judson Church, Liz
    Lerman, White Oak Project)?

2
Question 1 How has the development of modern
dance revolutionized dance performance?
  • Freedom of expression is key to the revolution of
    all the arts in the 20th century. Modern dance
    liberated the individual voice, allowing a
    great diversity of styles and points of view to
    emerge during the 20th century. Rather than
    perpetuate the limited, well-defined set of steps
    and movement which typified ballet of the 19th
    century, modern dance valued invention and
    innovation, which challenged and invigorated
    ballet as well. Modern dance choreographers
    often worked from their own bodies as the source
    for movement inventioncreating as many
    approaches to dance as there were bodies to dance
    breaking the mold of those who came before them.

3
Question 2
  • Isadora Duncan (1877-1927), Martha Graham
    (1894-1991), and Katherine Dunham (1909) each had
    her own vision of what dance should say. How
    were their views similar? How were there views
    different? What is each ultimately known for?

4
Isadora Duncan Founding Mother of Modern Dance
  • In her own words I am an enemy of the Ballet,
    which I consider a false and preposterous art
    Ballet requires a deformed skeleton and
    sterile movements whose purpose is to create
    the delusion that the law of gravitation does not
    exist for them. Duncan defied artifice and
    created dance from three sources 1.nature, 2.the
    art of classical Greece, and 3.inside herself.
    Barefoot and free from the confines of the
    corsets of the day, she danced aloneas an
    individual in naturalistic movements (based
    upon running, skipping, jumping) matching the
    dynamics of serious concert music (Bach,
    Chopin, Schubert, Beethoven and Wagner).

5
MARTHA GRAHAM FOUNDING MOTHER OF MODERN DANCE
TECHNIQUE
  • Graham rejected the romanticism of Duncan and the
    oriental borrowings of Ruth St. Denis and strove
    to create a new vocabulary of movements that
    could reflect contemporary life-angular, jarring,
    sharp, and intense. She created a technique
    based upon breathing-Contraction (exhalation of
    breath with accompanying contraction of the front
    of the torso) and release (inhalation of breath
    with accompanying extension of the torso). The
    technique allowed for an ingenious use of the
    floor, and gravity, a first in modern dance. Her
    choreographic themes included sexuality,
    psychological struggles, and Greek myths. Graham
    created over 170 dance works. The 20th centurys
    modern dance icon, she gave her first concert in
    1926, Graham continued to tour the Martha Graham
    Dance Company and create dances for the company
    right up until her death in 1991.

6
KATHERINE DUNHAM UNCOVERING THE ROOTS OF AFRICAN
AMERICAN DANCE
  • Born in 1909, Dunham performed extensive
    fieldwork-particularly in Haiti- to enable her to
    create modern dance from the roots of African
    American dance. She strove to develop a dance
    technique, based in African dance, that would
    bring Black dance to equal status of white dance
    in the dance world and, in her words, give to
    the Negro dance-student the courage really to
    study, and a reason to do so. She created the
    Dunham technique based upon the Africanist
    aesthetic principles summarized by Brenda Dixon
    Gottschild (see DAN 2100 African Roots web
    page). Of all modern dance pioneers, Dunham s
    work was most broadly based. She worked not only
    on the concert stage, but on Broadway and in
    film additionally, she choreographed Aida at
    the Metropolitan Opera in 1963.

7
Question 3. How does modern dance make dance
more accessible to everyone (ie, Judson Church,
Liz Lerman, White Oak Project)?
  • Modern dance is often an inclusive art form.
    Modern dance has challenged ballets
    stereotypical requirements for dancers thin body
    type, youth, elite technique (ie, perfect
    turnout), and ballets dependence upon
    music/set/theatrical conventions. Like modern
    art in general, modern dance focuses on the
    value of the unique voice of the individual, and
    has created a structure where difference could be
    explored artistically.

8
JUDSON CHURCH ORIGINS OF POSTMODERNISM
  • Concurrent with the explosion of civil rights
    movements, the early 1960s birthed postmodernism
    in dance at the Judson Memorial Church.
    Experimentalists, such as, Robert Dunn, Lucinda
    Childs, Yvonne Rainer, Deborah Hay and Trisha
    Brown challenged the (now) conventional modern
    dance and sought freedom for the body and
    expression unencumbered by technique and
    conventions. The Judson Church movement
    refreshed modern dance and wiped the slate clean
    for fresh perspectives to follow.

9
LIZ LERMAN DANCERS OF THE THIRD AGE
  • In the 1980s Washington, D.C. based
    choreographer, Liz Lerman, broke the age barrier
    with her company Dancers of the Third Age.
    Company members ranged in age from 18 to 82, and
    danced in disarmingly honest pieces based upon
    their unique life experiences. In a duet, Lerman
    explores the loving dream/memory of an 82
    year-old womans sweetheart who has died in WW
    II. Themes of sexual longing, and love challenge
    stereotypes of elderly as less than in the
    physical and emotional realms and liberates
    elderly and others to value the depth of emotions
    and longings, at any age.

10
WHITE OAK DANCE PROJECT BARYSKNIKOVs BRAINCHILD
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov is considered to be, along
    with Rudolf Nureyev, a premier male ballet dancer
    of the 20th century. Baryshinikov chose to
    extend his dancing career through modern dance
    and the creation of the White Oak Dance Project.
    It is a repertory company that focuses on the
    creation of modern dance works by renown modern
    choreographers for mid-career to late-career
    dancers. Rather than mourn the loss of the
    elite ballet technique that made him so famous as
    a younger (and extraordinarily virtuosic) ballet
    dancer, the White Oak modern repertory allows
    Baryshnikov to explore his individual strengths
    and unique movement qualities, and continue to
    develop as a mature performing artist.

11
End You know the answers now
  • THREE QUESTIONS 1. How has the development
    of modern dance revolutionized dance
    performance?2. Isadora Duncan (1877-1927),
    Martha Graham (1894-1991), and Katherine Dunham
    (1909) each had her own vision of what dance
    should say. How were their views similar? How
    were there views different? What is each
    ultimately known for? 3. How does modern dance
    make dance more accessible to everyone (ie,
    Judson Church, Liz Lerman, White Oak Project)?
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