Topical History

History of Modern Dance

The legacy of modern dance has been affected by a number of 20th century concert dance forms. Stemming from the free dance form, many artists share a common heritage turning a number of individual styles into the all encompassing umbrella term, modern dance. Classical modern has roots from the ballet genre in Europe, however some artists in the early 20th century such as “Martha Graham” severely disliked the European movement of ballet. This was a common feeling among the American dancers for they did not want European dance to affect their American style of modern dance.

Postmodern dance occurred in the 1960’s in the United States during the societal unrest in politics and art. This period had many experimental dance performance and movements, no longer created by specific schools or styles. A fragmentation occurred at this point in modern dances history blurring the lines of specific modern styles. The media has recently brought more attention to modern dance, or “contemporary”, through television shows such as “So You Think You Can Dance.”