Modern dance is one of the most difficult genres to define through technique. Modern dance is not necessarily slow or fast or to any particular music. It does not necessarily show specific skills or tell stories. It doesn’t have to be everything.
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Modern dance is difficult to discuss and hard to understand for most audiences because of its “endless possibilities”. This is crucial because they pay the bills.
For an art form that seems to have no other purpose than to repeat what has been done before, this identity crisis is understandable. Many studios and colleges don’t have the time or interest to learn about Modern dance theory.
Purpose and genre
This problem is rooted in the fact that modern was originally intended to be very vague. It could be something like “Push the boundaries of ballet!” Breaking the rules of ballet can help you find a different way to move. This is a great place to start, but a definition such as “modern is a movement …” isn’t very helpful.
The purpose of modern dance evolved with it. Each era was different in its interpretation of what modern dance should do. Each purpose, however, has a loyal following.
Modern has been a tremendous help to artists. Everyone has the chance to find a place they love by exploring all aspects of dance. The doors to free movement are now open.