Dance1Revisiting Pioneers of Modern Dance – Part 1

August 21, 2019by artsadmin

Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, and Ted Shawn were some of the dancers who rebelled against popular dance forms like ballet and vaudeville, thus introducing the world to Modern Dance forms.

In late 19th century, there began a form of concert dancing which later came to be known as Modern dance. The history is interesting. Modern Dance evolved as a response to traditional ballet, and has its birthplaces in Germany and US. Therefore, it is an evolution of choreography that came after ballet. One thing that
made it so popular is the fact that it could be enjoyed beyond the rigid rules of ballet. Modern dance style projected emotions and added human side to the art.
Let’s have a look at our list of 5 famous modern dancers of all time:

Martha Graham

It is said, Graham is to modern dance what Picasso is to modern art. She is literally known as the mother of modern dance. She began her career in ballet but her passion grew for modern dance. She was the first dancer to perform at the White House. She started her dance company in 1926―The Martha Graham Dance Company, which is the oldest dance company in US. It has produced dancer-choreographers like Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor. She will be forever remembered for her unique choreography, intensely emotional performances, and for her improvised technique.

Lester Horton

Horton had a short but fantastic career as a modern choreographer and dancer. He work was based in California. He named his own dance company “The Lester Horton Dance Group” in early 30s and became famous for two decades for an individual technique and theatrical style that embraced themes of social and political protest. He worked on several movies too.

Merce Cunningham

Cunningham had a long and distinguished career as a dancer and choreographer. At the age of 20, he was a professional dancer, performing at the Martha Graham Dance Company. In 1953, he formed his own dance company called Merce Cunningham Dance Company reflecting Cunningham's technique, highlighting unlimited possibilities for movement.

Isadora Duncan

Many consider Isadora Duncan as the creator of modern dance. She danced on bare feet, wearing simple costumes and letting her hair loose, and flowing. Isadora created the first school of modern dance. She believed dance as an expression of her personal life. Her choreography included subjects like clouds and trees, waves and wind.

Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey has long been hailed as one of the most inspiring dancers and choreographers of his time. Throughout his career, he popularized modern dance in
America and believed it was extremely important that the black cultural form in this dance be accepted by other dancers and choreographers.

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