May 18, y
Che Maria Baez
The dance world as we once knew it has been changed forever by the recent discovery of a new technique. The following is newfound research about this category of dance.
Whether as performers or spectators, more people enjoy dance today than ever before. And now, through this ground-breaking proposal, dance will be brought to everyone, free of charge on the streets of New York City.
Dance is extraordinary. Dance should be accessible to all. It ranges and extends from classical ballet and extravagant baroque-court spectacles to more avant-garde modern dance. The art of dance has a quite comprehensive history and covers an entire spectrum, complete with vivid and lively history. Exploring dance history in detail, specifically the contemporary dance world which includes modern dance can be extensive.
Now, a new technique is on the rise. We’ve all come to know and love art that takes occurs in places that we wouldn’t expect. Dance always takes place in a studio, but why not where we least expect it? Where we walk to school, to work, and on lazy Sunday mornings. Why couldn’t this modern art form take place on the streets?
Certain types of dance have been perfected for many years, but often confined to studios and kept secret by prominent dance companies until a piece is perfect to release to the world. The modern dance movement began in the early 1900s as a rebellion against the formality and structure of ballet. Dancers wanted to move freely and naturally through spaces. They wanted to be free of pointe shoes, tight leotards, and stockings. They wanted to involve the whole body using even their fingers. Incorporation of facial expressions that accompany the feelings and emotions of dance helped tell a story. Now, dancers can tell a story to more people by performing outside of the mirrored walls of a studio.
Modern dance uses classical and more traditional ballet technique, freeing it to use the total body, and involves even more creative expression that can be shared with the world. Modern dance was born when ballet dancers wanted to free themselves from the rules and regulations of classical ballet, and explore the possibilities of dance. Creative improvisation is unique to the modern dance form. From the shorter movement poems for young dancers, to sophisticated improvisational exercises explored by more experienced dancers, improvisation invites the dancer to use their own creative instincts as they dance, encouraging them to invent movements of their own. Improvisation allows dancers to use they know from other classes, possibly changing that movement to make it their own. In the future, dancers will make the streets their own, and fill them with dance.
With these modern advances for modern dance, dancers will be able to dance outside of their studios, and create vibrant pieces for the world to see.
Sources and Bibliography
Anderson, Jack. Ballet & Modern Dance: A Concise History. 2nd ed. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Book, 1992.
This book spans the evolution of dance, again from ballet in the royal courts in France to Lincoln Center in New York City. It further delves into the realms of Martha Graham's modern techniques to William Forsythe's contemporary ballet style, that also has a huge influence on street culture and dance styles. It introduces intriguing and great resources for dancers of all types.
Brown, Jean Morrison. The Vision of Modern Dance. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Book, 1979.
This is the history of the creation of modern dance as told through key influencers of the movement from classical types of ballet to modern and contemporary dance.
Gilbert, Pia, and Aileene S. Lockhart. Music for the Modern Dance. Dubuque, Iowa: W. C. Brown Company, 1961.
This book traces the collaborative work, procedures, and aesthetic qualities and views of the artists who forged a new form of art that catered to modern dance. It includes numerous first-hand accounts from artists in the throes of music careers and provides detailed accounts of the challenges faced by modern choreographers and composers in the United States. These articles also include very short excerpts from observers of the music industry and dance scene as well as evaluations of the collaborative processes. The book offers insights into the development of choreography for modern dance pieces in relation to different types of music.
Susan Au. Ballet and Modern Dance. Thames and Hudson, 2002.
Susan Au's text covers the rich history of the art of modern dance as well as its present; describing the great performers and performances that took place in the past, as well as exploring in detail the world of dance as it lives on today. The book includes illustrations, which include the palaces of Medici to studios in Manhattan, and from the dancing of XIV to the more ‘experimental’ choreography of Martha Graham.
Allegra Kent. Once a Dancer. St. Martin’s Press, 1997.
One of the greatest of George Balanchine's ballerinas, Allegra Kent joined the New York City Ballet when she was fifteen years of age, and only about two years later inspired Balanchine's "The Unanswered Question". She quickly became one of the essential dancers in Balanchine’s company. He created more important roles for her in ‘Stars and Stripes', and the 'Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet', as well as others, and revived 'La Sonnambula’ especially for her. She eventually suspended her career a few times to have children. Allegra Kent is today a triumphant survivor of a very difficult, quite troubled, yet gratifying life. More of an outside-of-class reading, but her writing reflects the immense amount of intelligence, poise, and artistry that showed when she danced onstage. Her portraits of dancers she met along the way, and other great dance figures who punctuated her life seem spot on, and show the true nature of the dance world.