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Contemporary Modern Dance critical analysis

ContemporaryModern Dance critical analysis

Institutionof Affiliation

Contemporarymodern dance can be described as a broad genre of the westernconcert. It came from Germany and the United States in the late 19thand 20th centuries. It is said that the emergence of the contemporarymodern dance was as a result of the rebellion against classicalballet. There is, however, other factors that led to the developmentof modern dance such as socio-economic and cultural factors(Kaschock, 2011).

TheAmerican modern dance can be divided into three eras. The first isthe early modern period 1880-1923, the Central modern period1923-1946 and finally the Late modern period 1946-1957. Each periodwas characterized by the works of different artists. In the earlymodern period, the era was marked by Isadora Duncan, Ted Shawn, andEleanor King. There was a radical change in artistic practice duringthis time. However, the distinct modern dance techniques had notclearly emerged. The choreographers during the Central modern periodwere Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman and LesterHorton. It was during this period that Americans movement styles andvocabularies were developed by those choreographers. They alsodeveloped some dancing trainings that were recognizable, and theyalso defined them (Kaschock, 2011). The Late modern period there werechoreographers such as Merce Cunningham, Erick Hawkins and manyothers who introduced precise avant-garde movements. They were thepeople who set the pace for postmodern dance.


ElizabethStreb brings a combination of movement styles, acrobatic andillusions. She has done a tremendous job of exploring movements aboutspace, time and human body potential. She was an athlete and abaseball player at the same time. Bill Jones, who is a dancer andchoreographer trained in modern dance, combines spoken texts andmultimedia into his dances. Santee Smith incorporates contemporarymovements and native into a full-length piece (Kaschock, 2011).


Kaschock,K. (2011). A Critical Reading of Contemporary Choreography. DanceChronicle, 34(1), 159-165.