Art without Boundaries: The World of Modern Dance

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Treating modern dance as a self-renewing art, Anderson follows its changes over the decades and discusses the visionary choreographers some of whose lives are as colorful and tumultuous as their creations who have devised new modes of movement. Art without Boundaries begins with an analysis of the rich mixture of American and European influences at the end of the nineteenth century that prompted dancers to react against established norms. Anderson shows how reformist social and educational ideas as well as the ...
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Art without Boundaries: The World of Modern Dance

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Overview

Treating modern dance as a self-renewing art, Anderson follows its changes over the decades and discusses the visionary choreographers some of whose lives are as colorful and tumultuous as their creations who have devised new modes of movement. Art without Boundaries begins with an analysis of the rich mixture of American and European influences at the end of the nineteenth century that prompted dancers to react against established norms. Anderson shows how reformist social and educational ideas as well as the impact of the arts of Asia and ancient Greece led such pioneers as Loie Fuller, Maud Allan, Isadora Duncan, and Ruth St. Denis to forge deeply personal views. Anderson discusses the increasingly bold approaches of choreographers and dancers after World War I, how the politically troubled thirties gave rise to social protest dance in America, and how the menace of facism was reflected in the work of European practitioners. Following World War II many European nations turned to ballet, whereas American modern dance prospered under inventive new choreographers like Jose Limon, Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, and Alwin Nikolais. The book concludes with an authoritative view of how modern dance thrives once again on a worldwide basis.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Dance critic Anderson offers a sweeping panorama of modern dance that comes across with the same dynamism and urgency of purpose as the subject itself. Starting with Isadora Duncan's seminal steps toward becoming the free spirit of modernism, Anderson offers an excellent, condensed survey of a phenomenon that started at the beginning of this century. Breaking away from the constraints of ballet, each autonomous development found its own idiosyncratic way, creating myriad styles, theories, techniques and aliases which are now grouped under the cloak of modern dance. To be sure, there were many namesSound Dance, Expression Dance, New Danceand some choreographers even came to be reconciled with ballet, such as Kurt Jooss and Carolyn Carlson. Anderson has a remarkable talent for engaging the reader in the complexities of the vibrant dramatis personae of the dance scene. These sketches of American, European and Asian performers are fascinating, as is the depiction of their social and cultural milieux. While necessarily limited in depth, Anderson's impressionistic account deserves credit for its scope, which includes many lesser-known and now forgotten performers. Marking the most original aspects and signal events of this art form's evolution, this is welcome as a concise reference work on the modern dance movement. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Library Journal
In his newest book, New York Times dance critic Anderson chronicles the diversity of this art form as performed throughout the world since the 19th century. The presentation is historical, so dancers and choreographers reappear in various parts of the book as the story of this art unfolds. Anderson does not attempt to define modern dance, instead reveling in its vitality as he embraces a multiplicity of expressive dance in both solo and group efforts. Anderson has rediscovered many visionary dancers who explored new modes of movement and who contributed to the development of modern dance, though their sphere of influence may have been narrow. Some of the dancers featured are well knownincluding such luminaries as Mary Wigman, Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Ted Shawn, Ruth St. Denis, Martha Graham, and Merce Cunninghambut at least an equal number will be new to most readers. Anderson's account is well researched, but above all, it is lively and entertaining reading that will appeal to all dance enthusiasts.Joan Stahl, National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877455837
  • Publisher: University of Iowa Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Pages: 346
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.02 (d)

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