Modern Dance

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Alana Menta
10/4/12
Modern dance

What is Modern Dance?

Modern dance in my eyes is a form of dance which focuses on the serious expression of the inner emotions, using a free-flowing, interpretive style, rather than following the rigid rules characteristics of many dance disciplines. When modern dance first developed at the turn of the 20th century, it was considered extremely radical and iconoclastic; over the years since, modern dance has become more closely mingled with other disciplines like jazz dance, ballet, and tap, and some dancers work in both modern and classical dance styles, drawing techniques from both.

The turn of the 20th century was a generally iconoclastic era, as life in Europe and the United States underwent some dramatic shifts. Industrialism was on the rise, many nations participated in the First World War, and society was rapidly changing. As the rules of life shifted underfoot, some dancers began to feel that the formal rules of classical ballet were too restricting, and they began to develop their own style of free- flowing dance, which came to be known as “modern” dance, to differentiate it from classical ballet.

In modern dance performance, the dancer is often barefoot or wearing soft shoes. He or she moves in a free, almost improvisational style, and it is common to see controlled falls and other interesting interplays of body weight and gravity. Unlike ballet, which reaches for the stars with leaps and high kicks, modern dance often lingers near the ground, especially in a piece heavily influenced by psychology and intense emotional states. Modern dance is ever changing and always evolving. Its pioneering movement which is constantly absorbing new forms. Also throughout the 20th century there have been several significant changes in the world of dance, from the pioneers of modern dance, the expressionist movement in Germany and the influence of African Americans. Modern dance reflects and inspires society; it...
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