British modern dance between 1965 and 1985

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British Modern Dance between 1965 and 1985?

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Mar 22, 2012
Answer from Maria
by: Maria

Hi there,

According to Guillermo Márquez Romero (in his book "Danza Moderna y Contemporánea"), in 1954 and as a direct consequence of the interest awakened by a visit from the Martha Graham Dance Company, a center for dance studies focused in the Graham technique appears in London.

In 1967, The London Contemporary Dance Theater is founded under the direction of Robert Cohan, who was a dancer, main teacher and choreographer at Martha Graham’s dance company. His choreographies made up the repertory of that English group which, even having a great influence of the Graham technique, searched for its own dancing style.

Parallel to this, the London Contemporary Dance School has also existed since 1966 after its foundation by Robin Howard.

It is also important to consider that the work of the British Ballet has had modern features all the long of its history. Particularly within the Royal Ballet, it is recorded that Ninette de Valois herself was constantly in a search for a British style (remember that the search for an own style is a very important feature of the modernism of dance). It is also known that choreographers like, Keneth McMillan, Frederick Ashton and even Rudolph Nureyev introduced assorted modern features in the productions of the company (like expressionism, choreographic innovations, etc.) during that period.

There's also the Rambert Dance Company, which was originally a ballet company but turned into a modern-contemporary dance company in the 1960s. Choreographers like Frederick Ashton and Antony Tudor created pieces for them and it is particularly during the period you are interested in that the company defined its modern approach.

Other than those figures or institutions, it is particularly difficult to find more information about British Modern Dance between 1965 and 1985. Maybe there was not a very active trend at the time or the community of dance lacks of written material about it. However, as contemporary dance is indeed strong in the U.K. nowadays, you might find interesting documents at gathering places, like "The Place" in London or "The Laban Center".

We will all be glad if you share anything interesting you find with us. Yet I hope that the references I gave you give you a guide to follow the research.

Warm regards,


Mar 02, 2015
by: Robert

The post on the British modern dance between 1965 and 1985 was much informative for me. I am a contemporary dancer who is born after 1990 and this post allowed me to know about the dance styles before 1985.

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