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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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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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Zeybek, The

The zeybek is a genre of Turkish folk dance that is closely associated with the Aegean region on the west coast of Anatolian Turkey, although…

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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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Bauhaus

In 1919 a young architect named Walter Gropius initiated one of the most modern art schools of the twentieth century in the city of Weimar…

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Ailian, Dai (1916–2006)

Dai Ailian, a woman of Chinese descent, was born and raised in Trinidad and first visited mainland China in 1941. Together with Wu Xiaobang, Dai…

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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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Wu Xiaobang (吴晓邦) (1906–95)

Wu Xiaobang, known in China as “the father of Chinese new dance,” was the most important pioneer of modern dance in twentieth-century China. Exposed to…

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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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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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Gunawan, Hendra (1918–1983)

Known in Indonesia as the peoples’ painter, Hendra Gunawan was born in Bandung. Family circumstances were strained with a father who gambled and his parents…

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Uthoff, Ernst (1904–1993)

Ernst Uthoff was a German-born dancer, choreographer, and company director who received his dance training from two pioneers of Tanztheater (dance-theater): Kurt Jooss and Sigurd…

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Sharp, Cecil James (1859--1924)

In the short span of about fifteen years in the early twentieth century, Cecil James Sharp ignited a folk revival in country song and dance…

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Nazemi, Abdollah (1937--)

Abdollah Nazemi founded the Pars National Ballet, a semiprivate dance company, in 1966. It was the first known instance of a Western-style modern dance group…

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de Mille, Agnes (1905–1993)

Agnes de Mille performed as a self-producing female dance soloist; she choreographed for Ballets Russes and Ballet Theatre (now the AmericanBallet Theatre) and transformed the…

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Chinese Revolutionary Ballet

Introduced to China in the 1920s, Western ballet evolved into a significant performance genre in modern and contemporary China. Its popularity grew in the twentieth…

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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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Pavlova, Anna (1881-1931)

Considered the most expressively gifted ballerina of her generation, Russian dancer Anna Pavlova introduced ballet to a world audience through 23 years of nearly constant…

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Barrett, Cynthia (1921–2006)

Choreographer, teacher, and dance artist Cynthia Barrett was a modern dance artist who established her own company in Toronto. For a short while she directed…

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Gandini, Gerardo (1936–2013)

Gerardo Gandini was an Argentinean composer and pianist. Disciple and assistant of Alberto Ginastera in the late 1950s and 1960s, he obtained international recognition for…

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Adam, Hoerijah (1936–1971)

Born nine years before Indonesia’s independence, Hoerijah Adam epitomized the transitional figure of the Indonesian postcolonial dancer. Despite her short life, Adam changed the course…

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Hoffman, Gertrude (1886–1966)

Gertrude Hoffman (Hoffmann) was an early twentieth-century Broadway dance director and performer, and the first woman to receive a dance direction—or choreographic—credit on Broadway. From…

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Appalachian Spring

Appalachian Spring was choreographer Martha Graham’s final piece of Americana in her series of choreography that began with the solo Frontier in 1935 (music by…

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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…