Wrote the classic text on choreography, The Art of Making Dances, in 1959.
The Post-War Generation
Alvin Ailey Co.
After WWII, in the late 1940s, modern dance came into its own. Dancers were less concerned with rebelling and more interested in building on current trends. Modern dance became established in higher education, and became more accepting of ballet. Black artists began to be recognized.
Ailey created an all-Black dance company in the late 1950s; it became integrated in 1962.
He wanted to create opportunities for African-Am. to perform concert dance.
His style blends elements of modern, ballet, jazz, and African, and stresses Black themes.
Despite his death in 1989, his company and school are still going strong and his work is known around the world.
His signature work, Revelations, is based on spirituals and the African American experience
One of her dances from the 1970s, Group Primary Accumulation, had 4 dancers lying on their backs, each on a separate raft on a lake. Each dancer accumulates 30 movements in 8 minutes, rotating 45 degrees each on last 2 movements, until the dancer has rotated 360 degrees.
Modern dance today offers a broad range of approaches, some narrative, some structural, some mainly athletic
Technical skills of varied types are back in demand
New kinds of dance include aerial dance, integrated dance (wheelchairs), and various hybrids of modern & ballet, modern and hip hop, and other combinations
Still emphasizes individual expression
Choreographer Streb has a ferocious desire to conquer gravity
Uses flying harnesses, trampolines, aerial platforms, walls, etc.
A bit like the circus or gymnastics, yet created with a different purpose in mind
“Why spend all your time on the bottom of your feet? There are many parts of the body.”
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane
Often uses narrative or theme to relay a message
Creates full-length works such as Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land, which examines race in the US.
Works with dancers of varied races, shapes, sizes, and backgrounds
Kept his partner Zane’s name in the company name after Zane died of AIDS
"Who says you can dance only if you have two feet," she asks. "Dancing is an expression and an emotion, and you can show it in many different ways."
Ms. Verdi-Fletcher founded, and is co-artistic director of the Cleveland Ballet Dancing Wheels, a dance company that combines dancers in wheelchairs with dancers on foot. Since joining with the Cleveland Ballet in 1990, the eight-member company has given more than 1,000 performances. They have danced before 125,000 people a year in venues from Belgium to New York.
Ms. Verdi-Fletcher was born 41 years ago with spina bifida, which left her paralyzed from below the waist. Her parents feared she would not survive. She underwent 10 surgeries and tried to get around on crutches or with her legs in braces. But by age 12, she had to use a wheelchair. All the while, Ms. Verdi-Fletcher dreamed of dancing.
As she grew up, Ms. Verdi-Fletcher found teachers and dance partners who showed her how to perform in her wheelchair. She learned to spin gracefully and perform elegant moves.
In 1978, Ms. Verdi-Fletcher and partner David Brewster decided to enter a dance competition in Cleveland, but they did not tell the organizers she was in a wheelchair. She remembers the hushed audience that watched, spellbound, as they began to dance. "They didn't know what to make of somebody in a wheelchair, and I remember one of the judges had his mouth open," she said. "At the end of the dance, my partner did an acrobatic stunt on my chair while I was sitting on it, and the audience went wild. We had a standing ovation." Buoyed by that reaction, Ms. Verdi-Fletcher formed Dancing Wheels in 1980, with Mr. Brewster as her partner
The National Integrated Dance Company of South Africa
There are currently many integrated dance companies around the world. Dancers using crutches &
wheelchairs team up with able-bodied dancers to perform many different kinds of modern dance. The term “integrated” refers to dancers of differing physical abilities working together.
Rennie Harris fuses modern dance
with hip-hop; he brought his show
Rome and Jewels, loosely based on
Romeo and Juliet, to RI College in
2004, and also performed at Veteran’s
Memorial Auditorium in 2005.
Founded in 1992 by North Philadelphia native Rennie Harris , Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM) was conceived with the vision for sharing an appreciation for diversity and is dedicated to preserving and disseminating hip-hop culture through workshops, classes, lecture-demonstrations, dance residencies, mentoring programs and public performances. RHPM's work encompasses rich and diverse African-American traditions of the past while simultaneously presenting the voice of a new generation.
Liz Lerman works with dancers of mixed ages,
including people in their 70’s. In 1975 Liz Lerman created “Woman of the Clear Vision,”,a dance about her mother's death featuring professional dancers and adults from a Washington, DC senior center. Combining the creative and community aspects of this project with the dance classes she was teaching throughout DC, Lerman established the Dance Exchange, incorporated in 1976, which has explored issues such as violence, education, aging, healthcare, and community history.
In 2002, Lerman was awarded a MacArthur
Modern Dance continues to evolve…
Modern Dance Images: References
http://www.cmnw.org/images/Bill T Jones_dancersandorion.jpg