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Modern Dance Characteristics
Transcript of Modern Dance Characteristics
Modern vs. Ballet
performer's desire to communicate feelings and express ideas.
discard artificial gestures and trappings of an art form originally designed to please royalty.
dances about real life - life and death matters
movements alone to convey meaning
wanted to "feel the earth"
Very creative and expressive movements
Movements will communicate ideas or vision of choreographer
Concert is usually a mixed bill
Music from any period - live or recorded - or no music at all
Modern dance pioneer.
Know for angular, disjointed and highly expressive style
Choreographed for 60 years
Created powerfully dramatic works
More lyrical and flowing than Graham's still uses gravity and the feeling of weight with the concept of "fall and recovery"
Doris Humphrey choreographed for his company
Established the first permanent home for modern dance in America in 1946 - Los Angeles
Developed to serve the art of dance through group participation
New ways were developed to go up, to go down, to use one leg, to use both legs, and to see how long a balance could be held in what seemed an impossible position.
Strong thrusts of extended arms, legs, and torso; broad strokes of the body in space; hips used as accents and motivators; lunges and deep second-position pliés that emphasize power and space; swings of the legs and torsos, leaps and jumps into space
Alvin Aliey uses his techniques
Leader in Modern Dance Movement
"Fall and Recovery"
Modern: Train the back and chest to bend, curve, twist and contract
Ballet: keeps back straight and chest held high
Modern: Uses gravity
Ballet: Dancer tries to defy gravity
Modern: foot may be pointed, flexed, curled or relaxed leg just as likely to be turned in as out
Ballet: foot is always pointed and leg is always turned out
Classical ballet we admire the dancers' techniques and the entire spectacle
Modern concert we are more likely to question the choreographer's intent.
Costumes and Sets are elaborate in ballet and in modern dance often there is no set at all and the lighting designer dresses the stage.
"Mother of Modern Dance"
Credited with being the first to break away from ballet
American, but famous in Europe for dancing barefoot in loose, flowing garments and long scarves
Her dances were emotional interpretations of moods, suggested by nature or by music
Showed little technique, but her presence and daring appealed to her audiences
Compare & Contrast
Ballet class begins by holding onto the barre.
Students are in leotard and tights with hair pulled up in a bun.
Class divided into barre and center.
Barre exercises train the legs to remain turned out.
Carefully structured to warm-up and work every area of the body.
Usually ends with dancers moving across the floor and around the room practicing the most difficult leaps, jumps and turns.
Dancer is both the artist and the instrument. Must be carefully groomed and trained and, once broken, the dancer's career is ended.
It is usually said that it takes 8 to 10 years of training to become a dancer.
Young ballet students begin by taking dance once a week, but by the time they are 11 or 12 serious students attend daily classes.
By 15 the hopeful professional may take 10-15 classes a week.
Ballet dancers begin their careers as young as 17, while modern dancers often complete college majoring in modern dance and then begin dancing professionally.
Students wear leotards and footless tights so they can practice barefoot.
Class begins in the center of the room, often executing a number of exercises on the floor.
As they travel across the floor, they may combine running, lifting and falling movements.
Modern students practice with the same intensity, discipline and energy as the ballet students.