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Princeton Book Company
Introduction to Modern Dance Techniques

Introduction to Modern Dance Techniques

by Joshua Legg


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Introduction to Modern Dance Techniques

Bringing together all of the major modern dance techniques from the last 80 years, this engaging account is the first of its kind. The informative discussion starts by mapping the historical development of modern dance: in the late 19th century, a new dance emerged—not yet known as modern dance—that rejected social strictures and ballet as well. With insight into the personalities and purposes of modern dance’s vanguard—including Martha Graham, Lester Horton, José Limón, and Merce Cunningham—this compilation provides a comparative approach that will enable students to discern which technique best suits them and dispel the idea that there is a single, universal modern dance technique. There are also ideas for experimentation so that students can begin developing an aesthetic sense for not only what is pleasing to their artistic eye, but also for what technical ideas are exciting while their own body is in motion. Sample lessons are included for teachers to incorporate the text into courses.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780871273253
Publisher: Princeton Book Company
Publication date: 10/01/2011
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 209,079
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Joshua Legg is a choreographer, writer, poet, photographer, educator, and designer. He holds an MFA in dance, choreography, and performance and has taught for the dance and theater programs at Harvard University, Suffolk University, and Shenandoah University. He lives in Winchester, Virginia.

Table of Contents

Dedication ix

Acknowledgements x

Introduction xii

1 The Expressionists François Delsarte Emile Jaques-Dalcroze Isadora Duncan Denishawn 1

2 The Originators Martha Graham Doris Humphrey 18

3 The Mavericks Katherine Dunham Lester Horton 50

4 The Next Generation José Limón Erick Hawkins 98

5 The Avant-Garde Merce Cunningham Alwin Nikolais Murray Louis 152

6 Transition to Postmodernism Paul Taylor 192

7 Post-Judson Training Practices 216


A Economy of Movement 230

B Improving Your Improv 236

C Somatics and me Dance Technique Class 240

Notes 247

Photograph Credits 252

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Well researched. Useful for students in understanding roots/influences of contemporary dance." —Nada Diachenko, co-director of the department of theatre and dance, University of Colorado–Boulder

"Much needed concepts in one book for next generation teachers." —Dr. Susan Kirchner, chairperson of the dance department, Towson University

"I believe every public school dance teacher should have a copy in her classroom." —Pamela Sofras, chairman of department of dance, University of North Carolina–Charlotte

"A useful text for modern dance technique classes at the high school or college level. It could be used throughout the typical four years of study or for a one-semester survey course of modern dance." —Journal of Dance Education (December 2012)

"Ideal for an undergraduate dance history or pedagogy course, Introduction to Modern Dance Techniques explores the work of more than 10 modern dance choreographers. Includes descriptions of key exercises from each choreographer's class work." —Dance Teacher Magazine (August 2012)

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