What Is Modern Dance And Who Says What Is Dance?

1591 WordsDec 6, 20167 Pages
Mackenzie kotos Modern Dance Professor Jessie Laurita Spanglet 4 December 2016 Alwin Nikolais What exactly is modern dance and who says what is dance? Throughout the decades dancers and artists have used this question to push the boundaries and limitations on what is considered dance. Some did this by changing the setting of a dance while others did this by making changes to what can be incorporated into a dance. A great example of a famous choreographer who changed the way others viewed dance was Alwin Nikolais. Alwin Nikolais was born in Connecticut in 1910 and as a young artist studied acting, music, and puppetry. Interestingly enough Alwin explained that he originally began as a pianist out of economic necessity. It was not until age 22 when he attended a performance by Mary Wigman that he became interested in studying dance specifically the percussion instruments Mary used. Mary Wigman was somewhat of a role model to Alwin Nikolais. It was her percussion sounds off stage which truly intrigued Alwin. It was these sounds Alwin was interested in learning but he was told he must learn dance first. Within a year of dancing Alwin became a professional dancer, but his interest in creating rather than performing was stronger. He was interested in the body, how it moved, and what it was made of. He focused on the observation of dance rather than doing it himself. He gained his training at the Bennington College studying with the renowned figures such as Hanya Holm, Martha
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