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What is Modern Dance?

Modern Dance Explained

What is modern dance?

Gaining strength and flexibilityI provide dance classes in ballet, tap and modern theatre following a syllabus from The Imperial Society Teachers Of Dance (ISTD). Many people understand and are familiar with the genres ballet and tap but I am often asked to clarify what modern theatre is. 

Modern theatre began to evolve in the late 19th century from those who were rebelling against classical dance.  No longer wearing the attire of corsets and pointe shoes pioneers such as Isadora Duncan began to experiment in moving in a less structured way.  This evolved over years and various styles of moving became more known as well as classical ballet.  As time progressed, choreographers experimented with new ideas causing mixed reviews from audiences.  Social and political events began to influence dance such as music, travel, interracial communities, fashion.  Martha Graham, Frederick Matthias Alexander and Lester Horton were a few rebound choreographers who created their own techniques which are still taught and influence dance today.  

As each new budding choreographer merges they aspire to create an individual style of moving therefore modern dance is continually evolving and developing.

The ISTD’s syllabus was created by current choreographers and is regularly reviewed offering courses to those who teach it.  Modern is structured, as most classes, beginning with a warmup and technical exercises where you can train the dancer in precision behind each movement.  The class progresses to exercises for perfecting turns, leaps and jumps culminating into amalgamations and dances to be perfromed.  There are various grades to accommodate students ages and abilities which students can progress through.  One of the main characteristics of modern dance is the sense of interpretation and performance.  Each dancer has their own interpretation making it individual and freer. It is a great genre to learn as there is so much variety.