Modern Dance Essay by BrainC

Modern Dance
An overview of the history of modern dance.
# 53217 | 1,117 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Oct 15, 2004 in Dance (General)

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This paper examines how European and American theatrical dance had always centered on ballet until the early 20th century, when it became fashionable in dance circles to rebel against the strictures of tradition. It looks at how modern dance, which resembles modern art and music in that it is experimental and iconoclastic, developed primarily in the United States and Germany. It discusses how, in the beginning, modern dance was often misunderstood by audiences and how, by the 1950s, modern dance was firmly established in the dance world. It also shows how modern dance is said to be based on the four principles of substance, dynamism, metakinesis, and form, and how, due to the creative efforts of the modern dance pioneers, dancers today use a broader range of techniques, styles, and source materials than ever before.

From the Paper:

"The first American dancers to break from classical ballet were Isadora Duncan, Loie Fuller, and Ruth St. Denis (Modern pp). Although their styles differed, their unconventional approaches opened the door to a new era in dance history, namely the American modern dance movement of the 1920's (Modern pp). Those involved in this movement based their works on personal experience, using their bodies as instruments to express emotions such as passion, fear, grief or joy (Modern pp). The dancer created form as an outgrowth of his or her own communicative impulses, rather than adhering to the set form and limited range of gestures of ballet (Modern pp)."

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Modern Dance (2004, October 15) Retrieved September 22, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Modern Dance" 15 October 2004. Web. 22 September. 2023. <>