Modern dance is a dance form developed in the early 20th century. Although the term Modern dance has also been applied to a category of 20th Century ballroom dances, Modern as a term usually refers to 20th century concert dance.
In the early 1900s European and American dancers started to rebel against the rigid constraints of Classical Ballet. Shedding the authoritarian controls surrounding classical ballet technique, costume, and shoes, these early modern dance pioneers focused on creative self-expression rather than on technical virtuosity. Modern dance is a more relaxed, free style of dance in which choreographers use emotions and moods to design their own steps, in contrast to ballet's structured code of steps. It has a deliberate use of gravity, whereas ballet is rigid in its technique. Because of the common history, the two forms (classical ballet and modern) share a similar terminology and structure. Modern dance is a term that applies to a variety of different disciplines, all with subtly different techniques, that responded to the imperialism of ballet through varying, culturally specific catalytic factors.
In Europe, Mary Wigman, Francois Delsarte, Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, Rudolf von Laban developed theories of human movement and expression, and methods of instruction that led to the development of European modern and Expressionist dance. Their theories and techniques spread well beyond Europe to influence the development of modern dance and theater via their students and disciples, and subsequent generations of teachers and performers carried these theories and methods to Russia, the United States and Canada,
the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Register for Modern classes!