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Describe in your own words the development of dance from early ballet through to Cunningham.

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Describe in your own words the development of dance from early ballet through to Cunningham. The History of modern dance can be traced back to the begging of Ballet as a professional dance form. As such it is possible to describe this development from early ballet, The romantic era, through to the work of Merce Cunningham, in the high modernism era. In doing this one will also look at Classical Ballet, Diaghilevs era and the Ballet Russe, Modern Ballet, The early pioneers of modern dance and the first generation of modern dance. Romantic Ballet originated in Paris and is associated with the early nineteenth century. It is this form of Ballet which is most common and probably the most popular and appealing. It brought imagination and emotion into dance in a new way. This emotion was brought through the narrative. Themes included the supernatural, fantasy, make believe and foreign far away countries. It was this use of the supernatural that first brought point work into ballet, as it gave the affect of floating. Other characteristics of this era were bell shaped tutus, which added to the supernatural theme and gas lighting that created an etherial atmosphere. ...read more.


shows these characteristics working together, to create a dance work steeped in technique. Petipa was the main choreographer of this era and as such is associated heavily with it. The next ballet era was that of the legendary ballet Russe company founded and directed y the Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev, between the years of 1909 and 1920 was the highlight of the theatre in western European capitals. The main concept of Diaghilev's work was a bringing together all the art forms, an equal collaboration. Stravinsky was one artist whose music was used by Diaghilev in his collaborations. For example in Pulcinella (Massine, 1920) and Petrushka (Folkine, 1911). Stravinsky's music has continued to be an inspiration for choreographers, for example in Richard Alston's remake of Pulcinella and Ashley Page's of Soldat. Companies such as Royal Ballet and Rambert were born out of the influence of Diaghilevs wake, both founders of these companies having connections with the Ballet Russe. Ninette be valois, who was Irish born, had danced with Ballet Russe started teaching and choreographing in England and began staging dances at the Old Vic theatre in London, and this later joined with the newly opened saddlers wells which she became resident choreographer for. ...read more.


One of Dennishawn's students was Martha Graham who alongside Dorris Humphrey, in the 1930's, is said to be the pioneer of Modern dance. They both created dance techniques which can still be learnt today. Martha Graham rebelled against the set vocabulary of ballet and wanted to set dance free to use emotion. In 1930 she choreographed Lamation which concentrated fully on emotion. She believed the all movement originated from the torso and so her technique involves contraction and release from the centre of the body. Merce Cunningham was a pupil of Graham, who in turn rebelled against her philosophies. Cunningham began choreographing in he 1950's and is the pioneer of the dance era labelled High Modernism. He believed that dance should not have to use emotion and should be about movement alone, calling on Zen Buddhist philosophies and Istein's theory that there are no fixed points in space. He was choreographing in the 1960's when people in all aspects of society began to rebel against rules and regulations. Cunningham's Change in Steps, (1989) shows his use of Zen and chance chroegraphy working together. ...read more.

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