Modern Dance

Site: Carmel Unified Moodle
Course: Dance I
Book: Modern Dance
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Monday, May 23, 2022, 12:38 AM


Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Twayla Tharp

Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) - Born in San Francisco California, she was a free spirit and the first to dance barefoot. Her form of dance was open & flowing. Isadora Duncan shocked or delighted audiences by baring her body and soul in what she called “free dance.” Wearing only a simple tunic like the Greek vase figures that inspired many of her dances, she weaved and whirled in flowing natural movements that emanated, she said, from the solar plexus. She aimed to idealize abstractly the emotions induced by the music that was her motivating force.

Martha Graham

Martha Graham (1894-1991) - She developed a movement style and technique that is still studied by modern dancers today based on contraction and release.  She was known for period pieces and dramatic choreography.

Martha Grahams Night Journey choreographed in 1947 is based on the Greek myth Oedipus Rex.

Graham Technique

Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey (1931–1989) was an African-American choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in New York City.  Ailey's choreographic masterpiece Revelations choreographed in 1960 is believed to be the best known and most often seen modern dance performance. His company was the first major company comprised of African Americans. He famously said "I believe the the dance came from the people and that it should always be delivered back to the people." His company to this day commits to giving free performances to students and under-served communities.

Merce Cunningham

Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) - He was a dancer and choreographer and was part of the Graham Company from 1939-1945. He later created his own company and style of modern dance.  He often created dances without the knowledge of the music and set designs that would accompany the dance. He was known for his methods of chance in composition.

Twyla Tharp

An American dancer and choreographer, Twyla Tharp is known for her fun, care-free dances often to pop music, that combine classical technique with theatrics and humor. She has choreographed for her world reknown dance company as well as many ballet companies, Broadway shows, film and television specials.