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Modern Ballroom Dancing

Twentieth-century modern ballroom dancing differed from social dancing of the nineteenth century in its shift in focus from group cohesion to individual personal style. This…

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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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Balanchine, George (1904–1983)

George Balanchine (Georgii Melitonovich Balanchivadze), arguably the greatest ballet choreographer of the twentieth century, was at once both modernist and traditionalist. Unlike many radical innovators,…

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Saunders, Rebecca (1967–)

One of her generation’s foremost composers, Saunders was born into a musical family (both parents were freelance musicians) on 19 December 1967 and raised in…

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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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Palucca, Gret (1902–1993)

Gret Palucca took a distinctive improvisational and pedagogical approach to German modern dance in a career spanning four different political systems in Germany. After studying…

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Vainonen, Vasily Ivanovich (1901–1964)

Dancer and choreographer Vasily Vainonen created several signature choreographic works of the Soviet ballet repertoire of the 1930s, including composer Boris Afasiev’s The Flames of…

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Modernism and Film Music in Latin America

Modernism in Latin America was, as in Europe, a movement that began as a reaction to late-nineteenth-century artistic currents, primarily in visual and plastic art,…

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St. Denis, Ruth (1878–1968)

Ruth St. Denis is considered one of the founders of modern dance, even though the genre had not been named as such during her most…

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Humphrey, Doris (1895-1958)

In the history of modern dance, Doris Humphrey’s significance traverses performance, choreography, pedagogy, and advocacy for the emerging art form in mid-century America. Her explorations…

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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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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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Raqs-e melli

Iranian-Armenians Madame Cornelli, Madame Yelena Avakian, and Sarkis Djanbazian, all of whom had learned ballet in Russia or Europe, came to Iran where they opened…

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Palladium

New York’s Palladium Ballroom is commonly revered as the birthplace of modern Latin dancing. Known as “the home of the mambo,” the Palladium was New…

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Fitzgerald, Zelda Sayre (1900–1948)

On 24 July 1900, Zelda Sayre was born into a prominent Southern family in Montgomery, Alabama, the youngest of six children. Her father had a…

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Antheil George (1900–1959)

George Johann Carl Antheil was an American composer, pianist, author, and inventor. He is best-known for his 1924 composition, Ballet Mechanique, originally scored for sixteen…

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Dance Directors

The term Dance Director was used in the first three decades of the twentieth century for stage and film work. At first, it simply meant…

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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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Modern Folk Dance

Modern folk dance is a turn of the twentieth-century revivalist practice based upon a participatory dance form originating within village-based ethnic communities of northern Europe.…

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Parade

A one-act ballet on the theme of a fairground sideshow, Parade was produced by Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and premiered on May 18, 1917 at…

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Kazuo, Ohno (1906–2010)

When Ohno Kazuo died at age 103, he was an international legend memorialized in newspapers around the world as a Japanese modern dancer, a pioneer…

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Ashton, Frederick William Mallandaine (1904–1988)

Frederick Ashton was a British choreographer and dancer whose work significantly contributed to the development and identity of The Royal Ballet. Along with its founder,…

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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…