What is Modern dance?
Born in the early 20th century, modern dance is a dance style that centers on a dancer’s own interpretations instead of structured steps, as in traditional ballet dancing.
At this time the American dancers Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis and the German dancer Mary Wigman started to rebel against the rigid constraints of Classical Ballet. Shedding the authoritarian controls surrounding classical ballet technique, costume, and shoes, these early modern dance pioneers focused on creative self-expression rather than on technical virtuosity.
Modern dance pioneers often danced in bare feet and revealing costumes. In the United States, several dance pioneers paved the way for American modern dance, including the legendary Martha Graham.
Modern dance is a more relaxed, free style of dance in which choreographers use emotions and moods to design their own steps, in contrast to ballet’s structured code of steps. It has a deliberate use of gravity, whereas ballet strives to be light and airy.