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Dance History Post-1900

by: Melody Posthuma

Dance History Post-1900 DAN 345

Marketplace > Grand Valley State University > Dance > DAN 345 > Dance History Post 1900
Melody Posthuma
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Date Created: 08/28/16
DANCE HISTORY POST-1900 CHAPTER 1 NEW DANCE: AMERICA’S PIONEERS • “barefoot” dance, hare was unconfined, freedom in dress, women independent, physically daring, and self-sufficient. • Dancing existed to decorate or entertain, never to edify - often considered virtual prostitution. • ISADORA DUNCAN: 
 - earliest major precursor of modern dance, simplest of costumes, danced for Loie, stood for artistic license, female freedom, rejection of middle-class values, many of the things she did were not totally new thus is called an “illustrious emulator.” 
 - Contribution: discovering a new motivation for dance. She combined Greek ideals with philosophy of American Transcendentalists (natural facts are signs of spiritual facts - God inherent in man and nature). 
 - Grew up with a single mother in times of Shakespeare, Dickens, Greek mythology. Her mother would read to her and her siblings as they danced, leading to Isadora giving dance classes to children, dropping out of school, and becoming a dance teacher. She was trained in gymnastics and had exposure to a discipline of Genevieve Stebbins. From San Francisco, the family moved to New York where she took some ballet lessons and got to perform in some modern plays and musicals due to her engagement with Augustin Daly (“Shakespeare company”). She gained some success as a “salon soloist” - gestural illustrations of poetic texts, short dances in a Greek tunic. She and her family went to England where there was a moiety of patrons, artists and intellectuals that were interested (meeting Pre-Raphaelite artists, Jane Harrison a classical scholar). Soon after she went to Paris where she saw Loie Fuller, Sada Yacco a Japanese actress, and sculpture artist Rodin. During her time in Europe, Duncan discovered an ability to evoke movement out of experience. 
 - Her life and her art were indivisible. Her success was before WWI, her 2 children drowned, lost a baby at childbirth, and aged perceptibly. Her choreography became more static movements rather than light running and skipping. Her husband committed suicide and she died at age 49 strangled by her scarf caught in a car wheel. 
 - Her technique consisted of: runs, skips, leaps, falls, natural rhythm of breathing, fluidity form the solar plexus, connectedness of the body, body can become a window to the soul. She understood music, audience’s response and mood were a part of the creation. Schools of her technique were run by followers and their descendants continuing to the present. • MARY LOUISE FULLER: in the chorus of Faust w/ a Chicago opera company, an actress with Felix A. Vincent company, performing vaudeville, stock, and burlesque. Concentrated on illusionistic effects & lighting techniques, first to exploit (not invent) many elements of modern stage lighting. 
 - In Uncle Celestin (a show), she raised voluminous skirts and her “serpantine” dance was born. She moved from Chicago to Paris to open at the leading French Music Hall. She was called the “Fairy of Light.” 
 - She toured in London, New York, and Paris. She used no scenery, draping the stage & floor in black velvet to create complete absence of light. Fuller’s art translated into motion the new decorative style based on continuous curves and forms from nature. 
 - Private life: disastrous marriage, attachments to women, devotion to her mother, organized a school dressing children in Greek tunics and having them dance barefoot on the grass, one of the first to make a personal form of expression widely accepted as art. She didn’t make her body the expressive medium - motivation of art contrary to the moderns. • FRANCOIS DELSARTE: singer at Paris Opera, studied relationship b/w movement and expression, became a series of exercises with spiritual significance due to Genevieve Stebbins - divided body into zones. • RUTH St. DENIS: 
 - personified a variety of creatures, explored mysticism of the Orient, both her and Duncan found roots in Delsarte & national concern with physical culture, a performer with artistic vision who also sought popular approval. 
 - Personal life: mother was one of the nation’s first female doctors and also suffered from nervous disorders, grew up in a latter-day utopia, father couldn’t hold a job and often absent
 - Exposed to Delsarte from mother and a rectal by Mrs. Stebbins (draperies, poses from Greek statues), moved to New York for a job performing in a museum (slow kicks, cartwheels, backbends, skirt dances). Believed dance begins in consciousness not in the body. Saw a poster while on tour of Isis, an imposing goddess. She says her destiny as a dancer sprung alive in that moment and got photographed herself in a similar pose. She created an Egyptian ballet & an “art dance” called Radha, set in a Hindu temple with the goddess performing symbols of the 5 senses. She was also sketched by Rodin, solo art dancer in a variety of theaters and opera houses in Europe, creating more dances on Indian religious themes, offered her own school by the city of Weimar, treated as an artist in Europe rather than an entertainer. Unlike Fuller and Duncan, St. Denis returned to America, becoming the first solo dancer to play an evening series on Broadway. 
 - Her popularity didn’t last due to changing tastes and to lavish expenditures leaving her in financial disarray, She married Shawn to perform some ballroom dances on her programs and ended up marrying him. She was the first lady of Jacob’s Pillow, the country retreat and “university of the dance” established by Shawn in the Berkshires. Shawn was an asset to her, covering her debts. St. Denis’ company toured cross-country, creating the name Denishawn Dancers who travelled America and Europe performing in some of the most renowned locations. 
 - The Denishawn School began in LA with a modified ballet (softer, fluid, little turnout, no pointe). Shawn added enthusiasm for dances of American Indians, Spanish Dance, vernacular American dance, ballroom, and his own form of art dance. Repertory included barefoot interpretive dances, derivations of Loie with scarf and lights. About evoking authentic atmosphere, continual students, dance was the first and finest means of religious expression. St. Denis explored music visualizations - attempts at plotless choreography. Humphrey was a part of this company. 
 - These 2 attracted and nurtured the true founders of modern dance: Doris Humphrey, Martha Graham, and Charles Weidman. Louis Horst, the most important influence on Graham was the music director of Denishawn for 10 years. 
 - Foreclosure on remaining Denishawn property occurred - money spent on lavishness of productions. Ted Shawn went on to direct a company of male dancers that were muscular athletes lacing war dances, labor dances, and sport dances. • MAUD ALLAN: danced with bare feet and sometimes wore Greek draperies, known for revealing costumes, believed it wasn’t sufficient to master a pose, there should be nothing to mar the rhythmic sense of continuous harmonious expression, her most famous dance was A Vision of Salome, her work controversial led her to be denounced in churches and banned in Manchester, she performed during the time that Duncan and St. Denis performed in London, she traveled to America, Asia, and back to America where she made a movie The Rug Maker’s Daughter. She moved back to London, where a libel scandal and history of her brother as a murderer tarnished her career. THE VISION OF MODERN DANCE PP. 11-25 • Loie Fuller: we must pay attention to the relationship of actions and their causes, looking at when one dances to an accompaniment of light and music properly harmonized. Observation to intuition to comprehension. Music ought to follow the dance rather than the music inspiring the dance. Dance is motion, motion is the expression of a sensation, sensation is the reaction in the human body produced by an impression or an idea perceived by the mind. We are to express sensations in our movement. Since motion and not language is truthful, we have accordingly perverted our powers of comprehension. • Ruth St. Denis: primary inspiration in the exoticism of the Orient, dance was a spiritual experience, during the period of Denishawn, she developed “music visualizations” with Doris Humphrey. After Denishawn finished, she founded the Society of Spiritual Arts and a Church of Divine Dance. Dance as a means of communication between soul and soul, the Dance is motion, life, love, and power, to acne is to live life in its finer and higher vibrations, Dancer: one who expresses in bodily gesture the joy and power of his being, purpose: more beauty and harmonious activity experienced by the individual, less merely for him, dancing is the natural rhythmic movements of the body that have long been suppressed or distorted and the desire to dance would be as natural as eating, running, or swimming. CHAPTER 2 - EXPERIMENTALISM IN BALLET: DIAGHILEV, FOKINE, AND THE RUSSIAN LEGACY NOT ASSIGNED SECTION • The Ballets Russes: created by Diaghilev, making Russian Ballet synonymous with opulence, beauty, creative ferment, & technical superiority. Seminal figures are Massine, de Valois, Foine, Nijinsky, and Balanchine. Ballets Russes was built on the idea of synthesis + he brought good music, which was rare in dance. He introduced the classics of the Maryinsky + choreography that broke the mold, bringing ballet as a respected art form to the west. Diaghilev’s career began in 1897 with watercolor art, the first of many introductions of modern art from other countries. Due to his arrogance, after a quarrel between Volkonsky, the director of the Imperial Theaters in Russia, his future career in official theaters disappeared. About this time, Marius Petipa (Sleeping beauty, Swan Lake, Nutcracker) presided over the classical style in Russia (Marinsky Theatre), but had no logical successor. • Upon graduation, Fokine began to perform solo arts and began teaching, + proposed for a ballet on the story of Daphnis and Chloe denouncing traditional Mariinsky productions (pantomime, gestures, innovative costumes and authentic footwear). While it wasn’t approved, his first work was La Vigne as well as the Dying Swan for Ana Pavlova. Isadora Duncan appeared in St. Petersburg and highly influenced Fokine. In his restating of La Sylphide, the ballet was about the qualities of particular dancers and the use/adaptability of classical dance vocabulary toward a new end. He also amplified the corps de ballet as part of the stage picture using curved lines and inventing the ensemble (vs. straight lines in the back). He also insisted that his ballet be one-act ballets rather than stretched over full evening. He became the most important choreographer and theorist of ballet in the first quarter of the 20th century. He also had an influential friendship with Swedish arts patron Rolf de Mare’. Fokine was arrogant and didn’t credit his many collaborators. • The Russian ballet began performing in Paris which was positively accepted by the audiences. The Russian culture succeeded in Paris (Russian art, its freshness and spontaneity, the music, and the subject matter such as frenzied warriors or primitive civilizations). In Fokine’s ballet, the Firebird (a ballerina role) did not have any steps of balletic virtuosity, contradicted all ballet arm positions, and wore pantaloons instead of a tutu performed to a libretto composed by Benois and Stravinsky (a vary daring move). In addition to the Russian soul/culture, he was inspired by the Middle East. • Karsavina was Fokine’s interpreter and performer. Adolph Bolmfounded Cecchetti ballet, and privately tutored Pavlova, and also performed in Ballet Russes. • Fokine departed in 1912, which was quickened by Diaghilev’s habit of discarding those he no longer found useful. • With Nijinsky, ballet entered the 1900s and embraced the world of Freud. He broke with classical tradition, using no ballet steps. Movement was restricted - bodies and feet assumed strict profile or frontal positions, arms angular not rounded. Karsavina complained about the 3/4 pointe positions on the balls of the feet that Nijinsky demanded. Nijinsky paved the way for virtually all modern-dance developments in the 1900s. He was dismissed by Diaghilev (married a woman who didn’t speak the same language, had 2 children), and couldn’t manage a career on his own and descended into madness for the rest of his life. • The Russian East brought new/brighter costume colors, interior design, immodesties, extravagant hairstyles, and cosmetics. Ballets Russes had to pay its own way, in contrast to state-supported ballet companies. Ballet Russes barely survived WWI, with Fokine, Nijinsky, and Benois gone. Diaghilev looked toward Europe and French artists (Picasso, Satie, & Cocteau) - new age of experimentation in theatrical dance. • Leonide Massine was a Russian born, not well-trained dancer, but submitted to private lessons with Cecchetti and became the interpreter of Diaghilev’s artistic ideas. Massine incorporated mime, gesture, acrobatics, film, and music-hall turns into his works (influenced Central European modern dance). When Misassin was done choreographing, Boris Kochno was a choreographer for Ballet Russes, but ended p with Diaghilev leaving his company stranded in London. Ballet Russes was slightly revived from that point on. • Balanchine was a member of Mariinsky Theater before fleeing Russia due to disapproval of his choreographic experiments. He became Diaghilev’s last chief resident choreographer. His choreography involved rich vocabulary with a lot of gymnastics. • In 1929, Diaghilev died and so did his company. Chapter 4 pg. 120-129 • Massine attempted to express cosmic themes through pure dance vocabulary, using the full company to do so. He drew on Greek myth and the Bible and mixed ballet, tap, music-hall routines, and European modern dance for movement vocabulary. His later symphonic ballets dealt with hallucinations and adventures of a young musician. Massine ended his relationship with the Colonel in 1937 but firs t brought a suit over ownership of his ballets while in de Basil’s employ (court ruled against him). • Fokine at the time wasn’t on speaking terms with de Basil b/c of unauthorized performances of his ballets, joined the company in 1937and reworked Le Coq d’Or (a large, warm, lusty Russian folk burlesque). • David Lichine was the chief character dancer after the departure of Massine, choreographed Graduation Ball (1940). • Balanchine: known for subtle setting of movement to and against the music. • de Basil established in America a taste and desire for ballet as a full-scale theatrical art (attempted first by Diaghilev, Pavlova, etc). He also influenced Australia, and traveled throughout South America. The Original Ballet Russe gave its final performance in 1948 in both Europe and US. de Basil was known as an “inartistic” business manager, lacking the taste of Diaghilev and his social contacts and money + lacked a coherent artistic policy. • After Ballet Russe expired, Sergei Denham’s brand-new Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo arrived from Europe to NY. Under the direction of Massine from 1938-42, Denham’s company epitomized what America believed ballet troupes were all about. He had a background in banking which was helpful since the company was entirely dependent on private money. Gaite’ is the epitome of what Ballet Russe came to mean for American audiences: glamour, exaggerated but deft theatricality, amusements, warmth, exotic, and affectionate. Denham’s Ballet Russe was the setting for some of Massine’s most progressive and serious compositions. They also performed some restaged works choreographed by Balanchine. Massine started to lose his touch in choreography + problems behind the scenes created a distrusting atmosphere - he left Denham’s Ballet Russe in 1942. The company didn’t perform most of his ballets after he left. • Another company, Ballet International appeared in America run by Marquis George de Cuevas. Cuevas also had a nonprofit organization, the Ballet Institutie, to advance ballet and allied arts + for further appreciation of ballet by the public. They featured a new American ballerina, Marie-Jeanne. CHAPTER 5 America after Denishawn - the heroic age of modern dance • The big four: Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, and Hanya Holm. • Basic traits of human nature, questions of morality and mortality, implied acceptance of struggle - to achieve a just social order, based on optimistic faith in basic human decency, state of the mind. Dancers believed in the importance of their work regardless tiny audiences and shabby surroundings. • John Martin, the dance editor and credit of the NY Times helped the modern movement develop the way it did. He had a theater background then took ballet in NY and travelled to Europe in order to gain a sense of how/what to critic in dance. He influenced Graham that led to an established relationship between dancing and music in america (often scores composed after choreography was completed). • At age 21, Graham enrolled in the Denishawn program where she realized she’d never be an ultrafeminine figure, fragile, willowy dancer that her teachers preferred. She still applied herself and later became a member of the company. Her first independent choreography was at age 32. She tended to rely on intensity and concentration, not interested in concealing effort - an important aspect to portray the full range of human emotion. Ex: breath leading to contraction and body movement, “release”, weight visible and suspension and falls, flexed the foot, function of dance = communication, physical genesis of movement designed to convey the essence of an idea rather than symbolism. Graham gradually molded formal vocabulary, codified units of movement. She and her dancers usually wore gowns fitted at the torso that flared into long wide skirts. The exploration of a woman’s psyche became one of her most urgent and recurrent concerns. Graham was so possessive of her roles that she withdrew from pieces as she became unable to perform. In the 1960s, she finally permitted younger generations to reconstruct and perform her works + agreed to have them filmed. She continued to create new works until her death in 1991 at age 96. She was a symbol of liberated womanhood, a dramatist who created choreographic language. • Charles Weidman and Doris Humphrey were originally soloists in Denishawn company. Humphrey was oriented toward movement itself. Her background was in ballet, ballroom, and folk dance. She fit the Denishawn mold and was a part of the company for 10 years. Her view was that the more impersonal and abstract art is, the greater it will be. When Humphrey left Denishawn, Weidman left as well and began the Humphrey-Widman school. Humphrey often choreographed without music - letting the movement develop on its own. Humphrey’s dancers participated in Dance Repertory Theatre. Humphrey’s New Dance was one of the first modern dances of extended length, covering topics of human behavior (power struggles, possessiveness, male and female stereotypes, relationship conflicts). The New Dance trilogy involved Theatre Piece(competitive atmosphere that made survival in modern society distressing), With my Red Fires (life on an intimate level - love and its place in society). the need for love and courage in society was a reoccurring theme in Humphrey’s dances. • Jose’ Limo’n was a member of the Humphrey-Weidman who began choreographing her own dances. In 1948, Humphrey organized the Dance Center at the 92nd Street Y to sponsor choreographers. She worked with Limo’n at Connecticut College dance summer programs. Humphrey was hired at the Juilliard School of Music to teach composition and repertory + she directed a company called the Juilliard Dance Theatre from 1955-58. Humphrey developed precise principles for creating dances (philosophical basis + practical methods). • Weidman’sstyle was “kinetic pantomime” - developed from his movement quality, several dance techniques, many cultures, all under strong influence of Humphrey. In the 1950s, his career extended from concert pieces to nightclubs and choreography for opera and Broadway. Since his pieces were created around his own talents, many haven’t survived. Except for Lynchtown. • Mary Wigman established a school in NYC after her 1st American tour. She was trained in Dalcroze system before converting to Ausdruckstanz in 1921. Since life in America was democratic, dance reflected a more extroverted point of view than in Europe - focused on what “could be” rather than a fixed state. • Holm stressed the importance of pulse, planes, floor patterns, aerial design, direction, etc. believing their appeal and viewer’s response should be entirely kinesthetic (not emotional). The result was “absolute dance” - technique without pantomime or dramatic overtones. Her first choreographic work was called “Trend” - a picture of the process of survival when the usages of living are meaningless and man has fallen into patterns of conformity. Holm was not a captivating performer as Graham and Humphrey had been. • These modern dance figures maintained a distance from each other in separate ideological camps with different devoted bands of followers. • Tamiris : dance represented middle and working class America - celebrated positive aspects of American popular culture (jazz, sports, black folk themes). Her early solos were set to Negro spirituals. Performed during the Depression era. She believed choreographers could maintain individuality w/in an organization that benefited them in practical matters as well as the audiences through diversified programs. Dance Repertory Theatre was created by Tamers uniting Graham, Humphrey, Weidman, and Tamers from 1930-31. • Modern-dance choreographers performed at rallies and strikers’ benefits and protested injustices of all kinds during the depression. The New Dance Group founded in 1932 by Wigman’s students offered dance training for 10 cents a lesson to working class people to give them a chance to perform. To reach people it was necessary to dance on subject that concerned them. The New Dance Group was the only survivor of several protest organizations from the 1930s. In 1934 it reorganizes as the New Dance League and in 1937 it was absorbed into the American Dance Association - the first federal sponsorship of dance. • The Works Progress Administration (WPA, 1935) led to the Federal Theatre Project with Tamers as chief choreographer - provided sporadic employment, helped bring dance out of recital halls into a larger theatrical context. The relationship between art and propaganda in dance became controversial. However the politicizing of dance in 1930s widened its thematic scope causing new forms to emerge and modern vocabulary to expand. Many of the more activist younger choreographers who had performed with one of the Big Four branched out to form their own groups. The wave of left-wing protests of the 1930s subsided as the Depression gave way to war uniting America as one nation. As modern dance became increasingly accepted by universities (beginning with Bennington), losing its connotation as a people’s art, the ideological rallying point was also lost. Without Bennington summer programs enabling major artists in modern dance to come together, modern dance wouldn’t have achieved full status as a new distinct art form so quickly. A bachelor of arts degree with a concentration in dance became possible. With wartime cutbacks, Bennington’s dance program ended. Chapter 3: modernism Revealed: Ausdruckstanz, the Dance of Expression * Began in Germany and traveled to rest of Central Europe. Included ideologies of idealism, a belief in the ethical virtue of art and idea of creativity an noble self-sacrifice, patriotism. First time dance was looked on as a vehicle for conveying important ideas. Laban conformed an ideology based on Romanticism, Idealism, cult of art as religion, youth movement, and the new forms of body culture. He was born in Hungry and decided to give his life to the arts rather than follow his father in a military career. He arrived in Paris in 1900 studied under Delsarte and familiarized himself with ballet. He moved to Munich in 1907 after his wife died. Influenced by Emilie Jaques-Dalcroze’s rhythmic gymnastics leading him to explore rhythmic movement-choirs. He established his first company and school in Munich to free dance from both music and drama, restoring its universal significance. His goal was to bring dance into harmony with nature and cosmos by exploring the fundamentals of movement shared by humans and their environment. His work anticipated the course modern dance would take during the next half-century. In improvisational classwork, Laban taught students to develop movement and choreographic form from states of emotion and create dance from the movements of daily life. His special interest was workers’ festivals - goal to awaken each participant in awareness to his/her own festive being. One of the first choir works was Lichtwende (Dawning Light) (80 dancers): dramatized transition from subdued sadness to awakening or revitalizing of the body. He first published his system of Schrifttanz (written dance) in 1928. Gradually choreographers, dancers, producers, and directors realized the usefulness of his system (called Labanotation in America, Kinetography Laban in Europe). Throughout the 1920s, he formed 2 companies that toured Europe and he performed as well until 1926 when he had a serious injury. By 1926 there were more than 20 Laban schools (Ex: Choreographic Institute, which became part of the dance division of the Folkwang School in Essen). In 1930 he was appointed director of movement and dance at the Prussian Theaters in Berlin and 1934 became director of movement for the entire country (fell under supervision of Nazi Ministry of Propaganda). His schools, notation system, and books were declared anti- German and his influence evaporated. * During WWII he lived in England and worked with Warren Lambto develop a system to capture the qualitative aspects of movement expressed by 16 new symbols complementary to Labanotation called Effort Shape. He died in England in 1958. * Mary Wigman was the most important of Laban’s collaborators. Wigan had a teaching certificate in rythmic gymnastics at the Dalcrose school and was interested in creative dancing. In Laban, Wigman tended to live movements rather than just do them. She became his assistant. She had a tendency toward super-self-expression that Laban didn’t like at first but then reversed his judgment in the 2nd year of their association. She opened her own school in Dresden in 1920 with her system of Tanz Gymnastik, which became an integral part of GermanyS physical culture movement. She assembled a performing company and Ausdruckstanz became known nationwide. * Both Wigman and Laban agreed that dance without an underlying idea/emotion frame of reference was pointless & that movement in space symbolized man’s essential relationship to his universe. Wigman’s creative process relied heavily on synesthiesia - transfer of sensory experience from one mode to another so that the feelings associated with smell, taste, sound, and colors intermingled. In Wigman, Duncan’s lyric romanticism reasserted itself. She used any movement regardless of its superficial ugliness so as long as it was evocative. She created well over one hundred solos and often was a pivotal role in her group works. Wigeon’s school was designated one of the 13 that met requirements of Goebbel’s Cultural Ministry and obtained permission to enroll Jewish students (1930s), which most likely was why she fell out of favor with Gebbels. From 1937-42 she choreographed only solos in war-torn Germany. * The Triadic Ballet reflected Schlemmer’s propensity for humor. A new Bauhaus building allowed Schlemmer to explore the basic components of art in dance (space, gesture, black, form, hoop, and pole). The favorite dancer of the Bauhaus artists was Gret Palucca. “Free style” or “ecentric” dancing was performed by Grete Wiesenthal, Rita Sacchetto, Gertrud * Leistikow, and Sent M’Ahesa. Vales Gert had no reservations about nudity, sexual inversion, or distorting personal appearance to create an effect in her individual dances. * Hanya Holm brought the Wigman training to the US. Kreutzberg was one of the dancers, beloved by audiences for his humor. Yvonne Georgiwas his partner, and was appreciated for her technicality (performed with Kreuzberg, choreographer, ballet mistress, and director of her own company). Both liberally combined expressionistic movement and ballet. When Kreuzberg arrived in the US only Ted Shwn was a role model for men in experimental dance and Kreutzberg suggested alternatives. He combined sensitivity, refinement, and balletic precision with masculine vigor. * Kurt Jooss was another product of Ausdruckstanz combining expression, modern choreographic processes, and ballet. From Germany trained in Laban. He organized the Neue Tanzbuhne at the Munster theater - six dancers that toured. His training embodied Laban’s concepts of kinesiological harmony, stressing freedom and thee-dimensionality (not frontal quality of ballet). He believed the movement should be new each time whatever its intensity or shape. His best known work it The Green Table (military, training, journey to battle, battle, refugees, etc). The work of art was a piece of propaganda while still remaining a work of art. The Jooss Ballet toured before and after the war (not as popular in America due to other ballet choreographers). * When the National Socialist Party excluded Jews from German culture, Ausdruckstanz was derived of many of its best artists, students, and audience. The Nazis attacked modern art as the “sickness of European culture.” In 1933, the Wigman schools were incorporated into the State Unif for Body Culture and teaching methods were developed to emphasize Aryan superiority. Individualism, Ausdruckstanz, was repressed. Wigan was compelled to included ballet in the school. Post war revival was through Dore Hoyer a student of Palucca and member of Wigman’s company. Her personality and inability to work with groups likely contributed to her suicide in 1967. In 1973 ,interest in Ausdruckstanz as the precursor of a new format called Tanztheater began. BALLET RUSSES MOVIE: Refugees in Europe who became national stars, then became Americans who brought dance where there had been none. In late 1929, Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe collapsed. De Basil and Rene Blum named their new company Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. George Balanchine was the ballet master with the 3 principal ballerinas very young (around age 13). Fokine, Nijinsky, Nijinska (guest choreographer, slave driver, demanding), and Massine (magnetic performer with international following, considered greatest choreographer in the world in 1932, each ballet had different approach and theme) were powerful forces in Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. After the first year, they wanted Massine to be more permanent, and de Basil and Blum devised a plan to replace Balanchine with Massine. Symphonic music became a feature in ballet due to Massine. Alexandra Danilova, a prima from the Diaghilev era. Balanchine wouldn’t hire because she was too old, but performed in Balllet Russe de Monte Carlo when Massine was director. She was known for her personality on stage over her technicality. While Balanchine = baby ballerinas, dancing is women, Massine = men in ballet. De Basil arranged from Ballet Russe’s first American tour. Marc Platt - one of the first Americans to join Ballet Russe.  Frustrated by de Basil’s autocratic ways, led Blum to leave Ballet Russe. Massine also had issues with de Basil about power. By spring 1937, he began planning for his own company. 2 Ballet Russe Serge Denhim was the new ballet master at de Basil’s Ballet Russe. First issue was the name: Massine got Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and de Basil’s was the Original Ballet Russe.  Next was the fight over the dancers - two of the baby ballerinas stayed with de Basil and one went with Massine (the other 2 were chosen from dancers from the movies). Massine did lose almost all the rights to his choreography and had to create an enormous body of work. David Lichine stepped into the role for the choreographer for the Original Ballet Russe. Lichen and Massine were rivals. Massine de Monte Carlo left to tour in America and The Original Ballet Russe went to Australia (which set the stage for Melbourne and Sydney Australia to become major dance centers).  Ballet Russe companies were stranded in the US during WWII. Both toured in America where ballet had never been seen. It wasn’t just dancing, it was a privilege, a lifestyle to be in ballet company. This is when the first Native Americans became ballet dancers. De Basil began hiring people who were not qualified to dance the roles, he had no money and everything went to pieces. In 1948, de Basil’s Original Ballet Russe ended. Some of these dancers went to Hollywood for movies.  In the 1940s, Massine’s love of money caused a lot of trouble - had a car and chauffeur + his dog and a high salary. He also produced a string of box office failures, threatening his reputation. Director Serge Denim cancelled Massine’s contract during the time he guest choreographed from Ballet Theater (Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo’s competition). Denim took a chance on Agnes De Melli, an American choreographer. Denim asked Balanchine to be the company's resident choreographer. Began pushing for thin dancers. He remained with the ballet for 3 artistic seasons. He wanted his own company though - his way. With the help of Lincoln Kirstein he formed a new ballet company in 1947 (The Ballet Society AKA NYCB). In 1954, Denim founded an official Ballet Russe School in NY. There was hate against an African American ballerina (Raven Wilkinson) in the Ballet Russe. Denim assumed business and artistic authority. Denim gave Mina Novak most of the roles which was not accepted by audiences. One by one, all the great stars began leaving Balllet Russe. They had no new ballets, no new costumes, and it seemed that Denim didn’t care. His one thought was money. One by one those supporting Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo slipped away. Chapter 8 pp. 265-287, 308-318 Ballet in America Comes of Age * The National Foundation for the Arts and Humanities 1965 * By the late 1980s, 2 major companies: NYCB and ABT (Balanchine) + Joffrey Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem. * At ABT many of the students were professional “gypsies” in revues and Broadway shows. Balanchine’s chief interest was in the creation of shifting patterns on the floor in choreography. The extroverted emotionalism of the Russian tradition was absent. Serenade was Balanchine’s first ballet in America - earliest surviving demonstration of principles that guide his art and changed the course of ballet (distinguished music as floor, absence of star dancers, simple costumes and decor, using corps de ballet as full participant, absence of a plot). He and Kirstein collaborated when they combined ABT and Kirstein’s Ballet Caravan for a State Department tour of South America. Marie-Jeanne was the first ballerina to be almost entirely trained at the School of American Ballet. After the tour completed, Balanchine became a freelancer working on Broadway, in movies, in opera, and staged a few of his workers for ballet companies. * Ballet Theatre debuted in 1940 - not embracing just one form of dance, not organized around the vision of a single choreographer (no chief choreographer). Lucia Chase helped mount new works and hire artists though didn’t choreograph, she helped shape the profile of the company. Tudor was on staff as coach and teacher until 1950. When Richard Pleasant was dismissed, the company was about to be dissolved until Sol Hurok took over as financial backer. Over the time of Hurok’s stewardship, relationships with Fokine, Bolm, Mordkin, Massine, Lichine and others from the Ballet Russe were revitalized. Balanchine participated in seasons of 1943 & 44 and after Hurok’s departure in 1947. Huron’s publicity listed the company as the best in Russian ballet. The need to do things Hurok’s way compromised the original intentions of the company. * Tudorwas one of the early innovators of the company though was hard on others and an extreme perfectionist. JeromeRobbines was also a choreographer innovative in costuming for some ballets (ex: no tights or toe shows, no wigs or boots, streetware). The versatility of dancers to switch from vaudeville tricks to jitterbug to classical ballet was American. In 1945, Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith became co-directors of the company - 1980. Chase got rid of Hurok and the idea of the company as the best in Russian ballet. They had tremendous growth initially, but struggled monetarily. In 1960, Ballet Theatre became the first large-scale American company to appear in Soviet Union. Chases ability to regroup and keep Ballet Theatre alive was critical to ABT’s success. In the mid-1960s, a changed atmosphere home and abroad permitted the company a true resurgence. * NYCB was Balanchine’s personal laboratory. Balanchine molded NYCB in his own aesthetic image, Kirstein’s contribution lay in making it possible to do what Balanchine wanted to do. His choreography was perceived as supercharged kinetically and dense in texture. Balanchine’s trust in dance alone tootle the tale and his belief in the human body as inherently expressive, along with projection he required nt he performance of his most progressive dances gave NYCB its artistic profile. He exhorted his dancers to lift their legs higher, jump larger, drew attention to the steps between the steps (transitions), disguised mechanics of partnering, and stressed incredible turnout. His dancers projected energetic effort rather than easeful repose (move with grace of athletes). He tailored choreography to the styles and strengths of the dancers. 2 million of a private grant was awarded to his company and 4 million to his school, also increasing the amount of students and talent drawn to the school. * In 1956, Robert Joffrey Concert Ballet remained at the NYC Opera. He specialized in taking bodies not ideally built for dance and enabled them to dance. Rebekah Harkness provided rehearsal quarters & sponsored tours. She decided she wanted her own ballet company and when Joffrey wouldn’t agree to run a company that beard her hame, Harkness Ballet began and she signed contracts with many of his dancers, leaving Joffrey to start again. He regrouped and provided an American model of a ballet company - athletic, versatile, youthful dancers (varying height, weight, race). He broke away from uniformity of dancers. Chapter 16 Musical Theater in America - Broadway theater is where you use your taste, knowledge, and basic set of values. - Black Crook: a Victorian extravaganza from 1866, established that good dance was an important element in the new musical spectacles. - Dances derived from the black experience on southern plantations also influenced popular entertainment. Dance forms of slavery commingled with European folk dances as well as Irish jigs. In the 1840s, whites depicted blacks in happy-go-lucky simpleminded stereotypes in minstrel shows. William Henry Lanewas the most celebrated free-born African American among mainly Irish performers in the early minstrel days. When other African American dancers appeared in mixed or black minstrel companies after the Civil War, Lane’s eccentric style became the basis of a school. Minstrel shows always included a walk-around or cakewalk finale reminiscent of southern plantation life. The cake was awarded to the couple who produced the most spectacular effect. - In 1903, a black musical called In Dahomey made the cakewalk an international fad. Other dances included the Buzzard Lope, Slow Drag, Pigeon Wing, Snake Hips, and Charleston. These dances ended up influencing the white dance community at the end of the 19th century in vaudeville & burlesque dancing. - Hippodrome shows featured chorus dancers (up to 280) that were American pickup ballet girls. Dancing at the Hippodrome was risky - had to avoid performing animals, armies of backstage personnel, climb ladders, narrow platforms, stage machinery all in semi-darkness. - Viennese Operettas captivated audiences with romance-laden plots, glamorous settings. In this dance style, dance was a diversion when singers needed rest or a change of costume. - Gerogre M. Cohan was sometimes called the father of musical comedy. At this time, “musical comedy” was an indigenous American “book” show that substituted vernacular songs, dance, and subjects for middle-European fantasy and semiclassical music of comic opera and operetta. Cohan’s plots revolved around everyday characters with a mood of self-confidence (representing American life). Cohan borrowed from extravaganza, operetta, and farce; mad the most of streetwise banter &topical allusions (familiar in burlesque). - People form all walks of life flocked to dance halls, vaudeville, supper clubs, etc. 1/2 the white population considered ragtime dancing as unsightly and immoral while the other was happy to be rid of waltzes, cotillions, two-stepping, and Boston Double Dip. This controversy was settled by Vernon and Irene Castle an idolized ballroom team. They popularized the one- step, hesitation waltz, Castle Walk, and the fox trot. A brother-sister act, Fred and Adele Astaire emulated the Castle’s carefree sophicistcaiton. By the 1940s, De Marcos and Veloz and Yolanda’s partnering techniques became part of a synthetic Broadway dance vernacular. - Between 1910-30, a majority of dancers appearing in Broadway musicals and vaudeville were product of the famous Ned Rayburn system of training. Rayburn organized chorus dancers according to size, coloring, and training. Some of his dancers included Marilyn Miller, Pearl & Mary Eaton, Lina Banquette, & Evelyn Law. - Ziegfeld was among the first producers to use dance numbers excerpted from Harlem’s black musicals through never used black performers. Shuffle Along & Dixie to Broadway were among the first all black shows on Broadway. Black jazz dancing used “jazz” steps (full body movements ,a mix of folk material, dances of minstrelsy, and personal invention) & flash steps (jumped steps with expansive leg action). Taps could be added to either. - Bill “Bojangles” Robinson: a African American jazz dancer, carried weight farther forward on his tows giving him an unusual lightness with upright posture rather than hunched style of other tappers. His famous stair dance was performed by Shirley Temple, & their dancing partnership lasted through 3 more films. - Show Boat about life on the Mississippi, a danced based on a book and choreographed by Sammy Lee. It helped prove that music died to believable dialogue, performances by singing actors could be taken seriously. Dance was used to tie everything together. - The Bandwagon was a high point in Albertina Rasch’s broadway career. The most famous dances included “The Beggar’s Waltz” and “Dancing in the Dark.” Rasch ended up sighing a contract with MGM and moved to Hollywood. Before leaving Broadway, she created a reputation for creating innovative musicals, routine operettas, and comic revues. Rasch paved the way fro others such as Balanchine and Agnes de Mille to alter the choreographer’s role in the making of musicals. - Balanchine was assisted by black choreographer Herbie Harper in melding jazz, tap, and ballet to create On Your Toes, which was the hit of the season. Balanchine choreographed a number of Broadway musicals such as Keep off the Grass, Louisiana Purchase, Song of Norway, Where’s Charley?, Pal Joey, etc. Pal Joey was performed by Gene Kelly. - Dream ballets were no novelty in musicals but Laurey Makes up Her Mind choreographed by de Mille introduced a new function for the choreographer (revealing inner longings and anxieties that made the characters who they were - deepened audience empathy). Oklahoma! was another smash hit along with Brigadoon which was arguably her best work. She achieved a synthesis of balletic lyricism, traditional Highland steps, and symbolic lineaments of modern dance. Since her dancers were known for their work in ball or modern companies, audiences grew accustomed to a standard of dancing found on the concert stage. Result: better working conditions and salaries for dancers. - Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman occasionally choreographed and appeared in Broadway shows. Hana Holm’s Kiss Me, Kate included soft shoe, acrobatics, court and folk dancing, jitterbug, and borrowings from ballet and modern. - Jack Cole trained with Denishawn and choreographed fro films and musicals (Caribbena, Halrem dances, Latin America, and jazz - more sexual dances). His dancers did less of the relaxed improv jazz style and were aggressively on the beat of big band swing rhythms. - Jerome Robbins’ Westside Story set new guidelines for integrated musical. He demonstrated flair for comedy and ability to transform dance material form styles, periods, and cultures into exceptional choreography. From this point on, kudos were for integrated productions in which the total vision of a choreographic-director was an influential factor. Robbins also choreographed and directed Riddler on the Roof. In 1989 he staged a compendium of his work in musicals entitled Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. Guys and Dolls was directed by Michael Kidd. - Bob Fosse was known for his clever use of props, which helped conceal certain technical limitations (often hats and canes). His jazz style was imitated on Broadway, TV, Las Vegas, and amateurs caught up in the disco craze of the 70s. He was the choreographer of Chicago. - Michael Bennett was selected by Jerome Robbins for the European company of West Side Story. He borrowed what he needed from a variety of dance styles without attempting to create a distinctive idiom. He focused on more elemental factors - ways and means of uniting spatial patterns, gestures, lighting, music, personalities, and ideas. Chorus Line was his masterpiece. - By mid-century, the drift toward integrated formats in musical comedy tended to make everything that came before appear inferior. The refinement of book musicals called for choreography that served the plot and dancing for its own sake lost its fervor. - By the late 1960s, interest in vintage film began, helping revive older musicals. - In the 1980s, Gregory Hines became tap’s greatest advocate in 5 musicals and 3 films. In 1996, Glover conceptualized a show in which tap was less of feel good entertainment and more about darker social themes. More carefree tap related, plotless successes of the 90s included Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, and Stomp. - In the 1980s, Andrew Lloyd Webber brought shows such as Cats and Starlight Express from Britain. He also produced Phantom of the Opera and other “poperettas.” - Lee Becker Theodore worked to preserve Broadway choreography. She formed the American Dance Machine, a company of 16 dancers & she hoped to create a living archive of the most theater-worthy dances of past shows. - Revivals of On Your Toes, Show Boat, Gypsy, Chicago, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Cabaret, 1776, The Music Man, Guys and Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate, Oklahoma, and Carousel still exist today (among others). 1. One question, comment, or connection on the day’s homework 2. One potential research question for further inquiry An Unfinished Memoir by Jose Limon - Highly influenced by Isadora Duncan, Herald Kreutzberg, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, Ruth St. Denis & Ted Shawn, Florencio Limon (musician). - Her mother Francisca Traslavina died in child birth at age 34. His sister died at 3 months old, Uncle Manuel was shot in Jose’s house, death was not uncommon. - Limon’s father was the director of the Academia de Musica for the state of Sonora in Mexico. At the theatre, there were Spanish dancers on music-hall nights, concerts, dramas, ballroom dance couples, bullfight Spanish dance, etc. In composing dances, Limon looked back to these formative experiences for guidance and inspiration. - Due to crime and violence in Mexico, Limon/family moved from one northern city to another. In freight cars they left for the States. - For the rest of his life, he was a translator and conciliator, reconciling many contradictory cultural habits and ways of living and resolve hostilities around him. Chapter 9 Modern Dance: The Second Generation pg. 319-339 - The Big Four’s training programs which had placed a high value on individual expression took on the appearance of an academy. The scarcity of reliable methods of composition in dance encouraged conformity. Doris Humphrey wrote the book The Art of Making Dances while Grahams students relied on Louis Horst for a framework of disciplines. Horst insisted that without concern for form, the choreographer could hardly avoid egotistical self-expression. Horst’s Pre-Classic Forms selected movement theme related to the music and developed along specific guidelines, while his Modern Forms allowed great liberty in handling of themes. - Anna Sokolow: dance as a force for social change, embraced Marxism, she absorbed Graham’s fundamental principles but fashioned a style of her own from them. She was best known for Rooms (1955). She trained dancers to understand movement and perform it as if they had invented it. She often choreographed around the themes of isolation and despair, though she took her greatest inspiration from music. - Jane Dudley: a Graham dancer, she showed her works under the sponsorship of the New Dance Group, with titles typical of youthful idealism and proletarian point of view. She desired to make modern dance more accessible to audiences by avoiding intellectual sophistry. - May O’Donnel studied with Graham and returned to the West Coast to establish the San Francisco Dance theater, and later founded a company in NY. Her work retained Horst- Graham aesthetics. - Jean Erdman: Graham dancer, associated with Cunningham and John Cage. She fused dance with spoken word. - Pearl Lang danced with Graham, dance was an ecstatic religious experience, addressed many Jewish themes in her dances, she incorporated elements of Hasidic dance, humor and pantomime, lyrical, and dramatic episodes into her dances. - Eleanor King & Sybil Shearer: from Humphrey-Widman group, King focused on intangible and difficult techniques of naturalism, King organized a repertory company in Seattle focusing on ethnic traditions and geographical variety of the West, she settled in New Mexico teaching dance “bridging east and west.” Shearer moved to Chicago hoping to find an audience whose responses weren’t preconditioned by sophisticated judgments about what modern dance should be. Her performances were called “liquid acting” - pantomimic impressions of people, events, mind states, etc. w/o intermissions. - Esther Junger: shared the first Bennington fellowships with anna Sokolow and Jose Limon, though she was occupied with commercial work. - Few men choreographers (profession couldn’t support the family). Jose Limon was Mexican and moved to LA to escape political violence. He performed with the Humphrey-Widman company. He sought to rehabilitate the male role - Kreuzberg proved to him that a dancer could project an aesthetic sensibility w/in context of a distinctly male image. Stylistic tendancies include: lunging arm gestures, weighty presences, thrusting actions, off-center turns, sudden drops to floor, horizontal pathways, etc. Koner’s partnership with Limon began in 1946 - Koner trained under Fokine and modern studies w/ the Eastern Tradition. The Moor’s Pavane was Limon’s best known work - circular patterns of the dance suggested web of circumstances in which characters were caught. Limon’s company was the first to travel abroad under the State Department’s International Cultural Exchange Program. Humphrey continued to provided guidance to Limon, though her pieces were harshly criticized while Limon received praises for his performances/choreo. A rift developed between them and Limon’s work was no longer critiqued by her. In the last 8 years of his life, Limon created dances to reinterpret the spirit of early modern dance for those endangered by postmodern skepticism. He rejected young artists’ use of chance methods. The Limon Dance Company is the first modern-dance group to survive the loss of its founder. - Hanya Holm: promoted idea of a composite dance technique to embrace forms outside the scope of modern dance training. - Helen Tamiris: legacy was one of spirit rather than particular methodology. Daniel Nagrin was her assistant and leading dancer in Broadway musicals. He preferred to create roles for himself. Known for presentational format (chatting with audience during costume changes). - In the 1930s, modern dance was concentrated in NYC. - Lester Horton invented a movement technique that was kinetically sound and adaptable to as many uses possible. He trained a gourd in LA where he explored choreography based on primitive cultures such as American Indians, Aztecs, Haitians, and Africans. He retained energy of primitive activities and rituals rather than particular dance steps. Exercises to mobilize every join in the body, focus often on hands, head or arms while torso undulated with simplified leg gestures to move dancers throughout the space + controlled progressions to the floor, resistance to gravity, off-balance positions, sudden drops. He desired for dancers to be versatile. Horton dancers were set a part by their unusual fluidity of movement. His best known work was Salome (1934). The Horton Dance Theater in West Hollywood was the 1st stage in America devoted solely to dance. To survive, he choreographed for the film industry in Hollywood. He died at age 47. His work lived on indirectly through Bella Lewitzky (leading dancer in his company). She founded her own company in LA, expanding and refining Horton’s system. After his death, many of his dancers went East. His teaching is evident in Alvin Ailey’s choreography, Julliard Dance Theater had Joyce Trisler (a Horton dancer) choreograph, James Truitte passed on Horton Technique with Trisler (Alvin Ailey teaches Horton to this day). One unusual aspect of Horton’s company was its interracial makeup - Mexicans, African Americans, Asian Americans, etc. He took advantage of different cultures in LA (he rejected offers to have an all-white, all-black etc. performing group). DANCE HISTORY POST-1900 CLASS NOTES Powerpoint #1 DANCE “Dance is a transient mode of expression, performed in a given form and styli by the human • body moving through space. Dance occurs through purposefully selected and controlled rhythmic movements; the resulting phenomenon is recognized as dance bother by the performer and the observing members of a given group.” - Joann Keli’inohomoku • Every dance tradition is an ethnic tradition. • Plato on dance: an essential part of a young person’s education and of being a person, dance synthesized with other things a human studies would amount to justice, a required disciplining of physical movement, any dancing that doesn’t contribute harmonious psyche in an individual is not allowed. It’s a part of being a good citizen and person in society. • Dance has a lot of power, not just entertainment. HISTORY What is history? • • What makes something history? • What is worthy of being history? • How does one practice history? • What is the history of history? His hands are folded together and touching, it looks as if his hands are evolving. The pose is evolving, getting larger as he gains stability. One leg is bent creating a triangle against his straight leg. Everyone’s perspective is different, drawing from different aspects of the account - history is one perspective, not the only perspective. Post-1900 What was happening in the world during this time? What was happening in the world of dance? • Slavery legal until 1865, black men can vote in 1870, women can vote in 1920. • End of Victorian era, culture of Victorian values - corsets come off! • Pos-industrial revolution: machines, cars, sense of increasing but unrealized freedom. • Communication: telephones invented about 1876, radio in development early 1900s. Learning more about people from other cultures. • Growing sense of big business and of the world; awareness of and access to others. • Concert Dance: Marius Petipa (1818-1920) - Height of Classical Ballet Era, virtuosity in simplicity, no one messes up (perfection valued by choreographers & audience) • Social Dance: Cotilion, Waltz, Polka, Mazurka, Cakewalk, Ragtime PREMODERN DANCE (aesthetic dance) Mothers of Modern: 1. Loie Fuller 1862-1928 2. Isadora Duncan 1877-1927 Ruth St. Denis 1879-1968 3. Corporeality in America September 2nd - PROS: Leisure time, urbanization led to exercise trend - tennis, gymnastics, etc., American Genevieve Stebbins taught Francois Delsarte’s theatrical system of expression through corporeal semiotics, fascination with Greek ideal led to statute posing at “toga parties”, orientalism meant increased interest in experiencing tangible aspects of other cultures (music, dance, owning artifacts - CONS: Underlying Puritan distaste for the sinful body, art may be spiritually uplifting but often seen as bourgeois of little value in the culture that created America, dance rarely seen as a serious art (most male parts en travesty, even at the Met). Ballet was little known compared to Europe. Audacious to use classical (particularly symphonic) music. Pros + cons = aesthetic or barefoot dance Loie Fuller and Isadora Duncan Powerpoint #2 Loie Fuller: 1. Main idea/argument: relationship of actions and their causes, connecting light and music, music follows the movement rather than music inspiring the dance, movement in other mediums 2. Inspiration: external motivation, light inspired her movement, exploration of light and movement 3. Dance: motion, motion is the expression of a sensation, sensation is the reaction in the human body produced by an impression or an idea perceived by the mind, when an idea manifests itself physically 4. Rebel: she was thinking and sharing her perspective in a time when women did not do so, in addition dance always followed the music and she rejected that, said ballet was repetitive motions of moving the arms and legs • Performed burlesques and traveled with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show • Production innovations: projection with multi-colored glass, glass lit from below (her invention), blacked out surroundings focusing viewer’s eye, silks & sticks • First solo show in Paris at the Folies-Bergere (music hall) • Sued husband for bigamy (and won), many close friendships with women including the queen of Romania • WWI didn’t phase her - continued traveling and performing • Started a school to train girls, though it didn’t outlast her • Invited young emerging choreographer Isadora Duncan to tour with her • Not only was her stage life extreme and pushing the norm, her personal life was also questionable during that time. • Dances: Serpentine Dance (1891), Papillon (1892), Violet (1892), Fire Dance (1895) to Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’, The Sea included other dancers from her school, Radium Dances (1904) - concepts of color and nature. • Idea of abstracting the body has come from Fuller - focus not on the face but on the fabric and the light that shown on her fabric. Isadora Duncan • Californian in a single-parent, artistic home (piano, dancing, poetry, Shakespeare) instead of Victorian values • Early performances illustrated poems • Visited Europe & Greece • Solar plexus is the location of motion from emotion • 2 children outside of marriage • Post-WWI darker, grounded revolutionary period after the deaths of her children, soon followed by suicide of alcoholic Russian husband. She wasn’t allowed back in America due to the concerns that she was communist. • Started a school called Isadorables • Wrote My Life • Strongly guided by music • Used simple, solid velour drops, unlike most which were painted at the time (we still use her aesthetic) • Costumes were simple and allowed for movement • Anna Pavlova greatly inspired by Duncan • Her movement was natural, did what made sense to her body (walking, skipping, leaps, focused on movement coming from her solar plexus). • Many themes of nature in her works, Greek ideas w/ costumes she draped herself with, flowing and draped costumes (no bra, no shoes, legs showing, no corset) • Barefoot dancing became well-known because of her • Early works: Blue Danube Waltz (1902) music by Strauss, Death and the Maiden (1903, no music, ’15 with music), Primavera inspired by Botticelli’s painting • Later works: Marseillaise (1915, French Revolution), March Slave (1916 on Russian Uprising), Revolutionary (1921-25), Mother (1921-25, after her children died). • Showed women what was possible and ‘natural’ for her, helping others see that what they were told is the natural order of things may in fact be imposed order (unsupported female form on stage). • Awakened kinesthetic empathy in female audience members • Not a feminist, believed change came from the individual not the state. Mary Desti - barefoot dance Identity in Dance Powerpoint - Gender and Culture in Early Modern Dance, Powerpoint #3 Ruth St. Dennis 1. Main idea/argument: body and soul is one, expressing spiritual aspect of dance, what feels good on your body 2. Inspiration: inspired internally by the body’s innate desire to move 3. Dance: a means of expression, communication from soul to soul, dance is not entertainment, it is vital to being a whole being 4. Rebel: against mechanical proficiency, dance is not an entertainment it is a life experience • Liberal home, female Dr. Mom • Learned Delsarte system - gestures with meani


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