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Training Contemporary Dancers: Exploring the Relevance of Classical Modern Dance Technique

  • Author(s): McMahan, David M
  • Advisor(s): Naugle, Lisa
  • et al.
Abstract

The legacy of American modern dance is one of change and innovation. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, modern dance training has evolved by incorporating many new contemporary styles. Through this thesis research, I explore the relevance of classical modern dance techniques in the training of contemporary dance students. My research examines some of the significant historical factors which some dance scholars have claimed as driving forces for the creation and development of American modern dance up to this current time.

The relevance of classical modern dance technique was determined through interviews with university dance educators, modern dance répétiteurs, and notable modern and contemporary choreographers. The research culminated in a dance concert performance created for the purpose of reflecting on influencing factors stemming from my own classical modern dance training and their influence on my choreographic process as a contemporary creator.

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