The role of society in the evolution of Modern and Contemporary dance

by Maria Hatz
(Madrid, Spain)

In what ways was the evolution of Modern, Post Modern and Contemporary dance affected by the social and political factors of every period?

Or was it the other way around, namely that Dance with its new ideas had an effect on men and women and their every day life?

I would like to know how it was all received and how all the changes came about in the dance world. The question arises from the fact that in the work of most of the modern dancers the personal element and experience is present, as is the need of expression and communication.

Thus this makes me assume that society, which is a factor that affects the formation of every personality, had some part to play all the way along.

Thank you in advance for any help. It's much appreciated.

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Feb 27, 2011
Answer from Maria
by: Maria

Hello Maria,

I agree with you when you say that "...society, which is a factor that affects the formation of every personality, had some part to play all the way along.", and also when you say "...dance with its new ideas had an effect on men and women and their every day life."

Though, your question is formulated in very general terms, which makes a possible answer too long or always relative to specific cases.

Remember that the concepts of modern dance, contemporary dance or postmodern dance do not always apply to exactly the same artistic trends or artists, and that each one of them may have big variations in its definition.

For example, you say: "...in the work of most of the modern dancers the personal element and experience is present, as is the need of expression and communication."

That might be somehow true for Isadora Duncan or Mary Wigman (among many others), but it is quite the opposite for Merce Cunningham...

Also, if you are concerned about social and political factors of every period, consider that what we call historical periods is not the same, according to geographical and specific chronological contexts.

For example, the California of the 1970's had very different social and political features compared to the Germany just after the Second World War...

So, if you want to get close to an answer to this question, you need to define a very specific artist or trend, within a very specific historical period (the shorter the better).

...looks like an interesting subject for a good academic research...!

I hope this help.

Come back and share what you find out with us. We'll be glad to know how your answer evolves!

Kindly,

Maria


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