Course Description

ONLINE: This lecture course offers a historical background to modern dance, from 1890 to 1950. We will look at how modern dance developed in the United States and Germany as the art of individuals who created new dance styles that challenged established systems of culture and pushed the boundaries of what could be called "dance." We will examine the work of choreographers Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Katherine Dunham, Pearl Primus and others. We will also explore the impact on these artists of the fight for women’s rights and health at the turn of the 19th century; the impact of race on the choreographic agendas of Black artists; German expressionism; Asian, African and Native American religion and ritual; the psychology of Freud and Jung; contemporary events; and influences from art forms other than dance. Students will gain insight into the aesthetic principles of these major choreographers and the social, political and aesthetic factors that drove them. | Lecture + Q&A.

Max enrollment: 40.

Class sessions are recorded.

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Section Title
Modern Dance History 1890-1950: Iconoclasts and Visionaries
Online - Zoom
1:30PM to 2:45PM
Sep 15, 2022 to Nov 17, 2022
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Virtual Classroom  
Course Fees
Section Notes

Class sessions are recorded.

Please note: Viewing some videos outside of class time will be required for the course. The readings in the recommended books and other readings, which will be made available on the course website, are for those who wish to know more.

Recommended reading:
Julia Foulkes, "Modern Bodies: Dance and American Modernism from Martha Graham to Alvin Ailey" (9780807853672)
Elizabeth Kendall, "Where She Danced" (9780520051737)

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