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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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Cancan

The cancan is a popular dance form closely associated with the Parisian setting in which it emerged and underwent much of its early development. From…

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Halprin, Anna (Schuman) (1920--)

A dancer, choreographer, community leader, and educator, Anna Halprin helped to pioneer what she called “experimental dance” in the 1960s. After training with the modern…

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Dent, Nancy Lima (1919–2013)

Nancy Lima Dent helped to establish modern dance in Toronto. She initially studied with Rita Warne and Boris Volkoff, and later was a student of…

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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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Dance and Writing

The centrality of dance to aesthetic modernism led to dance becoming a major preoccupation of modernist literature and a model for the generation of the…

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Araiz, Oscar (1940--)

Oscar Araiz is a central figure in the dance world in Argentina and internationally. Maintaining equal prominence in the modern and classical dance communities throughout…

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Leeder, Sigurd (1902–1981)

In a career that spanned over sixty years, Sigurd Leeder made important contributions to the dance worlds in Germany, Great Britain, Chile, and Switzerland. His…

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Jooss, Kurt (1901–1979)

Kurt Jooss is often understood to be a founding figure in dance theater, both for his choreography Der grüne Tisch (The Green Table, 1932), which…

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Samba

Modern samba music and dance began in Rio de Janeiro’s Afro-Brazilian communities in the early 1900s and spread rapidly to international audiences through twentieth-century technologies…

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Foxtrot

The foxtrot emerged circa 1914, most likely within African American practices, as a variation on the older duple meter one step popular with dancers since…

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Reda, Mahmoud (1930--)

Mahmoud Reda, a pioneer in the modern staging of traditional and folk dance in the Arab world, began his movement career in gymnastics and other…

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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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Flamenco and Modernism

Though practitioners perceive Andalusia as the form’s spiritual and artistic home, flamenco is taught and performed in cities around the world. Modern flamenco evolved from…

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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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Capoeira

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian movement practice that has been categorized as national sport, folklore, martial art, and dance. Although capoeira has been considered a game…

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Modern Belly Dance

References to dances of the East have appeared in Western sources at least since the beginning of the Christian era, yet what has become known…

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Masābnī, Badī’ah

Badī’ah Masābnī was a professional actress, singer, and dancer from the Levant. She settled in Egypt in the 1920s and eventually opened a highly successful…

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Yakobson, Leonid (1904–1975)

A Russian dancer and choreographer, Leonid Veniaminovich Yakobson choreographed for the Kirov and Bolshoi ballets from 1930 to the early 1970s, during which time he…

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Liu Feng-Shueh (1925--)

Dr. Liu Feng-Shueh is a modern dance pioneer in Taiwan. She was the first person to conduct systematic experimentation with the formal elements and creative…