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New Dance

New Dance

Copyright Date: 1971
Pages: 156
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  • Book Info
    New Dance
    Book Description:

    Dealing exclusively with developments in modern dance since 1951, this book is for anyone who wishes to understand and experience nonliteral dance: students and teachers, dancers and critics.

    eISBN: 978-0-8229-7415-4
    Subjects: Performing Arts

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    (pp. XIII-2)

    Since the beginnings of modern dance, experts have speculated and argued about the essentials of modern dance choreography. The ongoing controversy has produced as many theories as there are dancers and teachers.

    The first forty years of modern dance development evolved around a core of established standards based on principles borrowed from other art forms. This search for fixed formulae led to a lengthy list of prescribed requirements essential for “good” choreography. Referred to as elements of dance, these requisites included such considerations as variety, contrast, balance, climax, sequence, transition, repetition, harmony, and unity. The preferences of dance artists and...

  2. 1 The Nature of Nonliteral Dance
    (pp. 3-26)

    Nonliteral dance is the art of movement and motion.¹ Whereas other art forms do use some movement in their creative expression (such as motorized sculpture and moving constructions of painters), dance relies almost exclusively on movement and motion as the vehicles for communication.

    As a nonverbal medium, dance concerns itself not with thoughts or ideas but with feelings, attitudes, images, relationships, shapes, and forms that can be communicated directly through the senses. Because of its noncerebral nature, dance relies for its coherence on a form of motor logic;² the dancers and choreographers proceed intuitively in evaluating and ordering their movements....

  3. 2 Materials and Structure of Nonliteral Dance
    (pp. 27-30)

    The dancer’s basic equipment is the body as his instrument and the physical principles of movement as his tools. Included in these mechanical laws of movement are gravity, equilibrium, motion, leverage, force, angle of rebound, and spin.¹

    The body, or instrument, is endowed with capacities to think, sense, balance, coordinate, and time. The first task of the dancer is to become aware of the tremendous expressive potential of his body and to develop his physical capabilities to their maximum; this heightened awareness will result in greater freedom both in invention and performance. He must learn to use his body as...

  4. 3 Approaches to Choreography
    (pp. 31-62)

    What distinguishes nonliteral choreography from the traditional forms of modern dance? First of all, nonliteral choreography has a much broader range of subjects and sources than its literal counterpart. A second difference lies in the special treatment of theatrical devices such as unusual costumes, props, lighting, and special effects. Unlike the representational choreographers, the nonliteral artist does not use these devices as a substitute for movement or as conveyers of meaning in themselves. The objects and materials are used rather as extensions of movement and motion. Since the nonliteral choreographer seeks direct communication rather than translation of meaning through objects...

  5. 4 Principles of Nonliteral Choreography
    (pp. 63-70)

    Practice in solving problems of various types such as those in chapter three leads the student to experience and understand dance in its own terms. He develops an understanding of the choreographic process through value judgments, weighing and analyzing the uses of materials and techniques of dance as vehicles for communication. From these experiences he reaches for deeper understanding of the processes of movement expression and begins to build a total concept of dance choreography.

    The purpose of this chapter is to present basic principles of dance choreography through conception of a model, a theoretical design of the factors of...

  6. 5 Music and Dance
    (pp. 71-93)
    Arlene Zallman

    The essential artistic validity of the assumption that dance must be combined with music is open to question; however, one must recognize that dance and music are combined, through usage if not through artistic inevitability. It has yet to be shown that the connection between the two arts is other than that it has always been that way. Thetraditionof interdependence and the sources of influences shared by both arts constitute the major part of our understanding of their relatedness since there has been in no sense a development or evolution of either the technical or the idealistic possibilities...

  7. 6 Lighting for Dance
    (pp. 94-104)
    Ruth Grauert

    One basic approach to lighting contemporary dance stems from contemporary aesthetic philosophy which defines an art product as a time-space organization expressed directly in terms of an energy; for example, a painting (the art product) is an organization of color. Contemporary art places no demand upon the painter to produce a particular kind of organization, or to use a specific material. That the organization may represent marsh grass, or that the materials may be actual buttons does not contradict definition. There is no compulsion to picture objective or subjective reality. The art product is a painting if it constructs materials...

  8. Appendix 1: Bibliography on Dance Heritage and Related Reading
    (pp. 107-113)
  9. Appendix 2: Dance Films and Film Distributors
    (pp. 114-119)
  10. Appendix 3: Sources of Recorded Music
    (pp. 120-122)
  11. Appendix 4: Sources on Lighting and Lighting Equipment
    (pp. 123-124)