Vaudeville and Modern

Emily Middleton


Modern Dance was born in America during the turn of the 20th century when a number of choreographers and dancers rebelled against the two forms of dance that were prevalent at the time, ballet and vaudeville. Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, and Ted Shawn are considered to be the pioneers of modern dance in America. Modern dance is a style of western and concert dance which began in the late 19th century and early 20th century. It focuses on the serious expression of inner emotions, with a free-flowing, interpretative style.


Vaudeville was made of singers, comedians, plate spinners, ventriloquists, dancers, musicians, acrobats, animal trainers and anyone else that could keep a persons attention for more than a minute. It started in the 1880s and the shows would last for hours. The performances ranged from good to just simply silly. By the late 1890s, vaudeville had large circuits, houses in almost every sizable location, standard booking, large pools of booking, and a loyal national following.