The Development of Modern Dance in the US.

Essay by xxchickbabexxHigh School, 11th grade June 2003

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As we all know, dance for centuries and centuries to come have been used by many to relate several messages. People use dancing as a way to tell stories, express feelings and for numerous other reasons. Dancing has a language of its own, no words are needed to say how a dancer may feel or what he or she may be thinking. The body does this for them. This is true to all dance styles, but especially in modern. Because the United States was one of the first audiences to experience modern dance, there was plenty of time for changes and developments to occur within this type of dance.

Like any other art form, modern dance was affected due to and created by current events, attitude changes, popular culture, academic research, and countless other events in history. Traditionally, European and American dance centered on ballet. However, in the early twentieth century, it became fashionable in dance circles to rebel against the structures of tradition.

Along with that, a few individuals were growing tired of the European ballet, and felt as if it were over played. Whether or not they recognized the need to make an American form of concert dance, they wanted to make a more expressive dance than what they saw and felt in ballet; they needed something new, something different. They needed a change. The style of dance they were heading towards "would allow a freedom of expression that they could not find in contemporary ballet." They objected to the "rigid formality and artificiality of the classic technique Eventually a new alternative came about. Modern dance first showed itself in the 1920s around the time of WWII. New York, now claimed as the modern dance capital of the world, was the birthplace of modern dance. In no time,