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Overview

Dance Subject Overview

Historically, modern dance scholarship has followed the contours of the field as defined by John Martin, the revered dance critic for The New York Times,…

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Expressionism

Expressionism was one of the foremost modernist movements to emerge in Europe in the early years of the twentieth-century. It had a profound effect on…

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Bennington School of the Dance (1934–42)

Bennington School of the Dance served as a highly influential training programme, creative laboratory and performance venue for early modern dance. Founded by Martha Hill,…

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Beatty, Talley (1919–1995)

Talley Beatty, whose career began in the mid-1930s and extended six decades, was a leading modern dance artist. He was a prolific choreographer, exquisite dancer,…

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Bodenwieser, Gertrud (1890–1959)

Gertrud Bodenwieser was an Austrian-born dancer, teacher, and choreographer who made major contributions on two continents to the development of what she called New Dance,…

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Denishawn (1915–1931)

Denishawn, a for-profit enterprise combining a school and dance company, was founded in Los Angeles in 1915 by the internationally acclaimed solo performer Ruth St.…

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Diaghilev, Serge (1872–1929)

Impresario, critic, curator, and founder-director of the Ballets Russes (1909–1929), Serge Diaghilev was a towering figure and pioneer of early 20th-century modernism. Through his various…

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East West Dance Encounter (1984)

The East West Dance Encounter, 1984, Bombay, consisted of a week of presentations and discussion among selected performers and critics representing a range of styles,…

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Emak Bakia (1926)

Emak Bakia (Basque for “Leave me alone”) is a 16-minute long black-and-white silent film directed by Man Ray. Subtitled a “cine-poem,” it features no obvious…

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Hoyer, Dore (1911–1967)

Dore Hoyer was perhaps the most innovative figure in German modern dance in the years between 1935 and 1965. This was a period in which…

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Hula

Hula, as the Native Hawaiian scholar Mary Kawena Pukui (1895–1986) noted, is a general name for Hawaii’s folk dances. While it is impossible to point…

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Kreutzberg, Harald (1902–1968)

Harald Kreutzberg was among the most widely known German dancers from the mid-1930s through the early 1960s, and he was certainly the most famous German…

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Lifar, Serge (1905–1986)

A crucial figure in the rehabilitation of ballet at the Paris Opéra, Serge Lifar had a glamorous career as a dancer, choreographer, and intellectual in…

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Maslow, Sophie (1911–2006)

Sophie Maslow, a prolific choreographer and significant contributor to American modern dance, was often characterized as a populist or people’s choreographer because she was inspired…

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Mass Dance

The early years of the twentieth century saw a proliferation of mass spectacles and events on a grand scale with thousands of participants, which frequently…

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Neoclassicism

Neoclassicism in dance is part of the historicist modernist movement of the first third of the 20th century; it indicates an approach that redefines movement…

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New Dance Group, New York City, 1932–2009

Established in 1932 by six young Jewish women in New York City, New Dance Group (NDG) trained leaders of the American modern dance. Founded with…

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Schottelius, Renate (1921 – 1998)

German-born dancer and choreographer Renate Schottelius was a pioneer of modern dance in Argentina. Following early training in classical and modern dance in Berlin, she…

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Shawn, Ted (1891–1972)

The self-proclaimed “Father of American Dance,” Ted Shawn attained international prominence as a professional dancer and choreographer. Along with his wife Ruth St. Denis, Shawn…

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Shinmuyong (ca. 1926)

Shinmuyong means literally “New Dance” in Korean, but today it is categorized as creative Korean dance. In the early 20th century, Ausdruckstanz (Expressionist Dance) from…

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Tamiris, Helen (1902–1966)

Helen Tamiris was a key figure in the development of American modern dance; along with Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, and Hanya Holm, she helped to…

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Taylor, Paul (1930–)

American choreographer Paul Taylor has made important contributions to dance modernism and postmodernism. His early choreography aligned him ideologically with New York’s avant-garde, most particularly…

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Wiesenthal, Grete (1885–1970)

The Austrian dancer and choreographer Grete Wiesenthal was a transitional figure at the crossroads of ballet and modern dance. Initially trained and employed as a…

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Wigman, Mary (1886–1973)

Mary Wigman was among the most important dancers and choreographers in Germany during the first half of the 20th century. As a modernist, she sought…