1. What are the innovations of Isadora Duncan, Denishawn, Martha Graham, and
Cunningham. Discuss these in relation to style, technique and theory.
Many Historians say that Isadora Duncan was the first dancer to present “modern dancing” to the public. Duncan felt that the pointe shoes and costumes that ballerinas wore were to restrictive. She began to dance in a way that seemed to be more natural to her. Her inspirations came from the movements of the tress, the ocean and other forms from nature. Her techniques included hopping, swaying, skipping and running. She felt these type of movements were natural and expressive. Also, the history of the Greeks
inspired her to dance barefoot and wear tunics similar to those of Greek style. Isadora Duncan paved the way for all modern dancers and choreographers who were to follow her. Learning About Dance pg.61-62
Denishawn was a dance school created in 1915 by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. Denis and Shawn were greatly inspired by different cultures, especially the Asian cultures. Although the dances Denishawn performed weren’t authentic, they were still able to bring other countries dance views to American audiences. The purpose of Denishawn was to educate the “total” dancer. Meaning to bring together the body , mind and spirit.
Learning About Dance pg. 62-63
Martha Graham developed a technique known as “contracting” and “releasing” through the center of the body. This technique can be seen throughout many of her dances. Graham would create dances that dealt with psychological issues. She would use
themes relating to American life, Greek Mythology, American Pioneers and American Indians. Learning About Dance pg.63&71
Merce Cunningham was the first choreographer to not use “traditional”
choreographic methods. He developed a new style of choreography. He did not believe dance had to have a certain storyline or theme. His theory of dance revolved around the idea of “movement for movements sake.” He felt that any part of the body can be used and the music,...