By CateMiller

History of Modern Dance

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. They rejected what they interpreted as the rigid and imperialistic nature of ballet, and they wanted to be taken seriously as artists rather than be seen simply as entertainers. Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, and Ted Shawn are considered to be the pioneers of modern dance in America

Choreographer: Mark Morris

Mark Morris is most influenced by George Balanchine and Merce Cunningham. He formed the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980 and the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov in 1990. He is known as one of the greatest living modern dance choreographers, a dancer of extraordinary power, and an unpredictably imaginative theater artist. Morris is noted for his sophisticated musicality and has been described as “undeviating in his devotion to music.” The Washington Post called Mark Morris “our Mozart of modern dance.ʺ The Los Angeles Times calls him, “intensely musical, deceptively cerebral, insinuatingly sensual, fabulously funky.” The company of dancers is reinforced by Morris’ use of live musicians in every performance.

Some dances choreographed