this is due in 12 hours….. must have done in 12 hours…..
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Modern Dance Techniques
Although modern dance was born out of rebellion against ballet, several modern dance artists and teachers codified their movement vocabulary much like ballet had hundred of years before. Codification means a group of movement exercises and phrases were to developed to teach in a class-like structure that had set choreography and counts in a progression that would prepare you for performance in that style of dance. Here are the major classical modern techniques to give you a clearer idea of what this means:
Duncan technique (Isadora Duncan)
Duncan dance actually has strong technique. Much time is devoted to learning technique. Duncan dancers are trained to move in a particular way. As Julia Levien recalled of her own training, “Your knee must be turned out. Your hips must be thrust forward. Your breathing must be in certain cadence. Nothing was left to chance.” One must have strong and flexible ankles, mobility of the pelvis, and fluidity of the arms.
The difference between ballet and Duncan dance is that, in ballet, the audience is supposed to see the technique. The technique and the style become one. In Duncan dance — when performed properly — the technique is invisible. As Isadora wrote, technique is a means rather than an end in itself. Technique functions as a support for style. Hortense Kooluris put it simply, “If you can see the technique, it is not Duncan dance.” Duncan dance appears free flowing, natural, and spontaneous (a style based upon classical Greek art), but it is only long practice with the underlying technique that allows it to do so.
Duncan Dance Principles: Duncan dance is free-flowing and appears spontaneous; has a sense of energy and grace that radiates from the solar plexus; reflects the rhythms of nature; is danced to the great classical music; and is a state of mind as much as a style of movement.
Humphrey technique (Doris Humphrey)
Doris Humphrey, like her contemporary Martha Graham, was interested in making dance more reflective of modern times. In collaboration with Charles Weidman, she developed the concept of fall and recovery—using the pattern of breath to inform movement. She was José Limón’s teacher and mentor, and though she wasn’t interested in creating a technique, her ideas became part of what is today known as Limón technique.
Limon technique (Jose Limon)
The technique is based on principles of weight, fall, and recovery as established by Jose lemon and his mentors, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. It focuses on the movement of breath through the body, the dynamic use of weight in each body part, and the fluid succession of one movement into the next.
Graham technique (Martha Graham)
Since the purpose of dance is to translate emotional experience in physical form, in the Graham technique, every movement must have a clear and perceivable meaning. This does not mean the movements must be realistic, only that the stylization must be meaningful and recognizable to the viewer as well as to the performer. Graham was clear on this principle: “Everything that a dancer does, even in the most lyrical thing, has a definite and prescribed meaning” (Mazo, 1977, p. 189). Further, she believed that the clear training of the dancer gave a freedom to the dancer’s ability to express the emotions and ideas of the choreographer. In Graham’s own words, training was the key to articulation: “If you have no form, after a certain length of time you become inarticulate. Your training only gives you freedom” (Mazo, 1977, p. 157). Thus the rigor of your training was all part of the purpose of the art form – and Graham believed in rigorous training! Her demand for total discipline and attention during class, and her anger when this was not accorded her, are well documented. While the movements in the technique itself are not natural gestures, they are artificial ones; the inner commitment to them and the emotional sincerity of the dancers presenting them are entirely real.
According to Martha Graham’s philosophy, movement is generated from three places: the action of contraction and release, the pelvis, and the emotional inner self. The contraction, or strong pulling back and curving of the torso, and the release of this movement by returning to a straight torso are symbolic of the dichotomies in life. It is the contrast between desire and duty, between fear and courage, between weakness and strength.
Horton technique (Lester Horton)
In the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s, dancer/choreographer Lester Horton developed a dance technique based on Native American dances, anatomical studies and other movement influences. Horton’s technique isn’t limited to a concept of one or two movements and their contrasts. The technique is dynamic and dramatic, develops both strength and flexibility, and works with an energy that is constantly in motion. The primary focus of many beginner-level Horton studies is creating length in the spine and hamstrings. There is also an emphasis throughout all levels on developing musicality and performance qualities. As students progress, exercises become longer and more complex. Horton uses flat backs and lateral stretches, tilt lines and lunges, all movements that could be found in a jazz warm-up. (Horton technique also incorporates lyrical, circular movements focusing on stretching in opposite directions.)
Outside of the classroom, students can look to graphic design, typography and architecture for a sense of the clean, clear lines emphasized in Horton technique. For example, there is a body position titled ‘Lateral T’ that looks like a big, block letter T: Enjoy this video of a fellow dancer, Iquail, who I danced with in undergraduate school, talk about teaching Horton to any and every BODY.
Dunham technique (Katherine Dunham)
Katherine Dunham, anthropologist and dancer, was a pioneer in both the modern and jazz dance genres. Dunham was a rebel among rebels. Unlike other modern dance creators who eschewed classical ballet, Dunham embraced it as a foundation for her technique. But what set her work even further apart from Martha Graham and José Limón was her fusion of that foundation with Afro-Caribbean styles. This created an entirely original technique characterized by classical lines, a torso capable of both isolations and undulations, and utilization of a wider range of tempos and rhythmical styles than most other Western concert dance forms of the time. In addition, Dunham made great strides for African American entertainers and artists on the Hollywood film stage, which will be discussed in a later module.
The video below shows diverse dancing bodies practicing Dunham technique
Cunningham technique (Merce Cunningham)
This technique is rigorous, and is designed to create strength and flexibility—of both body and mind,” he says. “You have to be alert and focused in class.” Cunningham technique challenges a dancer’s ability to change direction within the body and in space, so explore your internal sense of direction as you move through a day. Observe the sensations that occur in the body as you round corners and make sudden changes of direction. Take note of how those changes impact your sense of self and your relationship to the space around you.
A strong sense of one’s spine is an integral part of Cunningham technique, which explores the way that the back works either in opposition to the legs or in unison with them. Space is also an important factor, as is a sense of direction. In his choreography and class exercises, Cunningham developed a way of referencing “front” so that dancers don’t think about movement in terms of moving toward a point in space (most often, facing the audience), but rather in terms of where each individual body is facing.
(Watch as much as you’d like)
Assignment from the above info and info from the web
Briefly describe the key concepts/principles of each of the techniques listed in the lecture.
Choose two technique creators (Duncan, Humphrey, Limon, Horton, Dunham, or Cunningham) and, via a YouTube search, find a piece choreographed by each of them (i.e: “Mother” choreographed by Duncan” and “The Beloved” by Lester Horton). Name the choreographers, title of the pieces, and the year in which they were choreographed in your writing. You will discuss how the creation of their techniques are reflected in their creative work. Are the defining principles of the technique obvious in their choreography? Do these technical concepts aid in the emotional quality of the performance or no? Compare and contrast the two choreographies/pioneers.
*Please use movement analysis support from watching the videos along with the lecture information.