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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

2700 F St.: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
You may have heard of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AADT). No surprise--they’ve been on the main dance stage since 1958. Based in New York City, the company has toured all over the world, but who exactly was Alvin Ailey?
Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers

Cinderella

2700 F St.: Cinderella: San Francisco Ballet Working Rehearsal
Okay, you know the story…it’s the well-loved fairy tale about an unlikely princess. Sounds familiar, right?
Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Folklore, Europe

Cincinnati Ballet Nutcracker

2700 F St.: The Nutcracker: Cincinnati Ballet
The Nutcracker, one of the most popular ballets of all time, is about the magic and mystery of the holiday season.
Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Folklore

Freeze Frame

2700 F St.: Freeze Frame... Stop The Madness: Debbie Allen Dance Academy
A performance based on true stories and told in a fusion of drama, music, dance, video, and art.
America, Choreographers, Controversial, Dance, Dance Legends, Young Artists, JFKC

STREB

2700 F St.: SEA (Singular Extreme Actions)
Flips, twists, falls, and dives! Get ready to gasp, because this is no ordinary dance performance. It’s EXTREME ACTION, as the title states, with a big dose of dance, athletics, rodeo riding, boxing, circus, and stunt work.
Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers

Mariinsky Ballet: Raymonda

Cuesheet: Mariinsky Ballet: Raymonda
Raymonda is set in medieval Hungary and follows a countess torn between her betrothed, a crusading knight, and the arrival of a handsome warrior.
Dance, Comedy, Choreographers, Music, Composers

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Cuesheet: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Mini Performance
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares "Ailey Magic" with students, giving insights into the history of the company and its founder Alvin Ailey. The company performs their signature work, Revelations.
Backstage, Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

The Joffrey Ballet: The Nutcracker

Cuesheet: The Joffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker
The Joffrey Ballet brings the magic of the holiday season to life with heroic toy soldiers, sword-fighting mice, and a glittering journey to the Kingdom of Sweets.
Dance, Comedy, Choreographers, Music, Composers

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Cuesheet: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Mini Performance
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares "Ailey Magic" with students, giving insights into the history of the company and its founder Alvin Ailey. The company performs their signature work, Revelations.
Backstage, Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

Scottish Ballet: A Streetcar Named Desire

Cuesheet: Scottish Ballet Working Rehearsal: A Streetcar Named Desire
Scottish Ballet celebrates the 65th anniversary of Tennessee William’s literary masterpiece with this original adaptation, a vibrant fusion of drama and dance set to a jazz-inspired score.
Dance, Choreographers, Ballet, Theater

Mariinsky Ballet: Working Rehearsal

Cuesheet: Mariinsky Ballet Working Rehearsal
Russia’s historic Mariinsky Ballet returns to the Kennedy Center with a dynamic program of Russian choreographers featuring Millicent Hodson’s Le Sacre du printemps, Michel Fokine’s Le Spectre de la Rose, Fokine’s The Swan, and Marius Petipa’s Paquita Grand Pas.
Dance, Choreographers, Ballet

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Mini Performance

Cuesheet: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Mini Performance (2015)
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares "Ailey Magic" with students, giving insights into the history of the company and its founder Alvin Ailey. The company performs their signature work, Revelations.
Backstage, Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

Ballet West: The Nutcracker Working Rehearsal

Cuesheet: Ballet's West's The Nutcracker
Ballet West brings the magic of the holiday season to life with heroic toy soldiers, sword-fighting mice, and a glittering journey to the Kingdom of Sweets.
Dance, Comedy, Choreographers, Music, Composers

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Cuesheet: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Performance & Demonstration (2014)
The company performs their signature work, Revelations. The program also includes Bill T. Jones’ D-Man in the Waters (Part I). Set to Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20 (1825), it is a celebration of life and the resilience of the human spirit that embodies loss, hope, and triumph.
Backstage, Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

Me and My Shadow

Cuesheet: Me and My Shadow
Shadows—they’re mysterious, they’re goofy, and they can do some pretty remarkable things. But making friends with your shadow can be tricky. Presented in the form of a visual poem, Me and My Shadow uses a combination of light and shadow, paper and water, fantastical imagery, and intriguing sounds to reveal the perplexities and pleasures of friendship.
Choreographers, Puppets, Theater

Mariinsky Ballet's Swan Lake

Cuesheet: Mariinsky Ballet: Swan Lake
Russia’s historic Mariinsky Ballet—one of the most influential classical companies for more than two and a half centuries—returns to the Kennedy Center with the romantic masterpiece Swan Lake, in which the forces of evil are no match for true love.
Dance, Comedy, Choreographers, Music, Composers

GOLD

Cuesheet: Cas Public of Canada: GOLD
Canada’s Cas Public dance ensemble uses everyday sounds and objects to explore the joy, humor, and mischief of childhood—performed to Canadian pianist Glenn Gould’s famous recording of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations.
Dance, Comedy, Choreographers, Music, Composers

The Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker

Cuesheet: The Joffrey Ballet: The Nutcracker Working Rehearsal
The Joffrey Ballet brings the magic of the holiday season to life with heroic toy soldiers, sword-fighting mice, and a glittering journey to the Kingdom of Sweets.
Ballet, Choreographers, Composers, Dance, Dance Legends, Backstage, Europe

Ballet Hispanico

Cuesheet: Ballet Hispanico: Performance & Demonstration
Explore Latin American dance and music with Ballet Hispanico, a New York-based dance company dedicated to preserving and celebrating Latino cultures through dance
Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Latin America

Alvin Ailey's Night Creature

KC Connection: Alvin Ailey's Night Creature
The stars shine in Ailey’s homage to Duke Ellington
Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Jazz, Composers, Music Legends

Another Night

KC Connection: Another Night by Kyle Abraham
Choreographer Kyle Abraham compares his choreography to gumbo, a Southern soup. Like a stew that includes many separate ingredients, his dances are a mixture of modern, ballet, social dance, and hip-hop.
Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Jazz

Loie Fuller

Article: The Rebellious Streak: Dancing to Different Rules
They were rebels, they were American, and they dared to be different: the makers of modern dance
Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Innovators & Pioneers, Controversial

Article: Music as Dance’s Muse
Music is a muse for four different American choreographers
Choreographers, Music, Dance, Ballet

Cracking Open The Nutcracker

Article: Cracking Open The Nutcracker
Explore the most popular ballet of all time
Ballet, Dance, Choreographers, Composers, Folklore

Dancers

Article: Do You Wanna Dance?
Want to understand how dance works? Learn the five elements that make up the foundation of this art form: body, action, time, space, and energy
Dance, Ballet, Choreographers, Hip-Hop, Popular Culture, Young Artists

Martha Graham

Series: Master + Work
Meet the masters...the talented artists who have created some of the most outstanding achievements of the twentieth century
Ballet, Choreographers, Composers, Dance Legends, Music Legends

Hip-Hop artists

Series: Hip-Hop: A Culture of Vision and Voice
Hip-hop is global, lapping on every shore and landing at every airport. But what does Hip-Hop mean?
Hip-Hop, Young Artists, Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers, Innovators & Pioneers, Musical Instruments, Music, Poetry, Visual Arts

Agnes De Mille

Master + Work: Agnes de Mille and Rodeo
This all-American master changed the stage of choreography in musical theater. Learn how
America, Innovators & Pioneers, Ballet, Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers, Folklore, History

Alvin Ailey's Revelations

Master + Work: Alvin Ailey and Revelations
Find out how Ailey explored themes of African American heritage and culture through dance
Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

George Balanchine

Master + Work: George Balanchine and Agon
Discover why Balanchine has been called "the father of American Ballet" and even the greatest choreographer of all time
Ballet, Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers

Merce Cunningham

Master + Work: Merce Cunningham and BIPED
Discover how Cunningham's abstract choreography was inspired by his innovative use of technology
Choreographers, Controversial, Dance, Dance Legends, Innovators & Pioneers, Science

Hip-Hop

Collection: Hip-Hop Culture
Hip-Hop has blended and transcended its artistic elements to become a means for seeing, celebrating, experiencing, understanding, confronting, and commenting on life and the world. Hip-Hop, in other words, is a way of living—a culture.
Hip-Hop, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Fashion, Innovators & Pioneers, Language, Music, Poetry, Popular Culture, Theater, Young Artists

Russia

Collection: Russia
Sputnik and space travel, a soviet-born ballet dancer and choreographer of incredible talent, and a dance called the troika – learn about all this and more in this journey through Russia’s art and history
Asia, Ballet, Europe, Dance, Choreographers

Pointe Shoes

Collection: Ballet Resources
What does ballet have to do with the Russian Revolution? What's a plié or a jete or cinquième? How do ballerinas condition their bodies to perform like athletes? Delve into an art form with a language all its own and a rich history interwoven with cultural revolution, political rebellion, and artistic innovation.
Ballet, Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers

It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings!

Collection: Opera Resources
Get out your opera glasses and prepare to take a look at the history and evolution of an art form over four hundred years old. Learn how singers train and condition their voices, become familiar with some of the stage’s most tragic love affairs, and discover how theatre and music combined can tell epic stories in unforgettable ways.
Choreographers, Composers, Europe, Musicals, Orchestra, Opera, Tragedy, Theater

Dancing feet

Collection: Dance Resources
What’s the difference between troika and hula? How can dance tell stories and preserve histories? Discover dance and its impact on culture by exploring Ancient Egyptian rituals and Native American legends. Learn how dance tells stories and poems through a language of movement and music, and pick up a few moves yourself.
Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Hip-Hop, Jazz, World Cultures

East High School Dancers

Article: Encouraging Your Students to Become Choreographers
Use these great ideas to get your students choreographing at your school
Broadway, Choreographers, Dance, Musicals, Theater, Young Artists

Model of a human showing muscular striations kicking a soccer ball.

Grades 6-8 Lesson: Systems of the Body: Movement and Choreography
In this lesson, students will create movement patterns that express information about the basic systems, organs, and processes of the human body
Choreographers, Dance, Physical Activity, Science

Fencers

Grades 6-8 Lesson: Fancy Fencing
Stage-fighting, and especially sword-fighting, is important to the plot of many Shakespearean plays. In theatre, fights are based on precise choreography.
Choreographers, Europe, Playwrights & Plays, Shakespeare, Stunts & Special Effects

Painting of Nureyev by Jamie Wyeth

Grades 9-12 Lesson: Nureyev: Bringer of Light
This lesson focuses on the alignment of Nureyev’s artistic endeavors and achievements in the dance world of the West.
Choreographers, Dance Legends, Ballet, World Cultures

Painting of Nureyev by Jamie Wyeth

Grades 9-12 Lesson: Nureyev: The Unconquerable Will
This lesson provides an overview of how creative expression developed in the West, particularly in the development of dance.
Choreographers, Dance Legends, Ballet, World Cultures

Painting of Nureyev by Jamie Wyeth

Grades 9-12 Lesson: Nureyev: After Petipa
Nureyev’s early life and work were affected by changing social, political, and cultural forces in Russia. His artistic genius was influenced by the work of Marius Petipa.
Dance Legends, Ballet, World Cultures, Choreographers

Martha Graham

Flash Interactive: A Dancer's Journal: Martha Graham
This interactive explores the life and works of Martha Graham from the perspective of a (fictional) new member of the Martha Graham Dance Company and includes a large library of video and audio clips.
Dance, Choreographers, Dance Legends, Controversial, Jobs in the Arts, Young Artists, Innovators & Pioneers

Interactive: Dancing With Gregory Hines
In this video-based interactive, Gregory Hines is your guide through the diverse and exciting history, people, and techniques of tap.
Backstage, Broadway, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, History, Innovators & Pioneers, Musicals

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Twyla Tharp
"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home."
America, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Mary Wigman
"Strong and convincing art has never risen from theories."
Europe, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Innovators & Pioneers

arts quote

Arts Quotes: George Balanchine
"First comes the sweat. Then comes the beauty if you're very lucky and have said your prayers."
Backstage, Dance Legends, Ballet, Dance, Choreographers

arts quote

Arts Quotes: George Balanchine
"I don't want people who want to dance, I want people who have to dance."
Choreographers, Dance Legends, Ballet, Dance

arts quote

Arts Quotes: George Balanchine
"Dance is music made visible."
Dance Legends, Music, Choreographers, Dance, Ballet

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Martha Graham
"No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time. It is just that the others are behind the time."
Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, America

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Martha Graham
"Dance is the hidden language of the soul."
America, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Martha Graham
"Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion."
America, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Agnes De Mille
"The truest expression of a people is in its dances and its music. Bodies never lie."
Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Merce Cunningham
"The only way to do it is to do it."
Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Arlene Croce
"Good choreography fuses eye, ear, and mind."
Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Ibrahim Farrah
"Dance is so important in the world. It needs no language. Our bodies speak a language of its own."
World Cultures, Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers

Jerome Robbins instructing

Arts Days: October 11, 1918: Where Broadway Meets Ballet
The man born Jerome Rabinowitz infused 20th-century choreography with a uniquely American flavor. The work he did for ballets like Fancy Free displayed his penchant for freely mixing elements of many different types of dance: jazz, ballet, modern, and folk.

That creativity was burnished by Robbins’ work on a string of legendary Broadway musicals, from West Side Story to Fiddler on the Roof and Gypsy. A 1981 Kennedy Center Honor recipient, Robbins balanced his theatrical projects with ballet choreography throughout his career. With his dancing feet planted firmly in both camps, it’s no surprise Robbins won Tony Awards®, Academy Awards®, and served as ballet master of the New York City Ballet in the 1970s.
Musicals, Ballet, Dance, Choreographers, Dance Legends, Innovators & Pioneers

Conway Twitty, Chubby Checker and Dick Clark doing

Arts Days: September 19, 1960: The Dance Craze Is On
Chubby Checker’s version of this song started a dance revolution. Kids everywhere were dancing the Twist’s signature moves: swiveling hips, stretching out arms, lifting one foot off the floor every now and then. Though the dance was considered fairly provocative, the song’s ascent drove the popularity of the Twist and made it mainstream.

Dance crazes were nothing new: for example, in the 15th century, noblemen and women went crazy for the minuet, while in the 1930s, everybody was doing the jitterbug. Basically, anytime people gather to dance, a new fad could be spawned. Think about that next time you’re dancing with your pals—maybe you will invent the next Mashed Potato or Moonwalk!
Choreographers, Rock & Roll, Popular Culture, Dance, Music

Agnes De Mille

Arts Days: September 18, 1905: Dance Queen of Broadway
Her father William and her uncle Cecil were both big-shot Hollywood directors, so perhaps it was genetic that Agnes de Mille sought a life in the arts. She studied piano, considered acting and took dance lessons, and choreographed big dance sequences for movies like Cleopatra and ballets including the sensational Rodeo (which received 22 curtain calls). Yet it was as a choreographer for the theatrical stage that de Mille really found her calling.

The dance routines she created were anything but routine. Musicals like Carousel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and especially Oklahoma! revolutionized musical theater by the way de Mille incorporated her choreography right into the plot, further rounding out characters’ personalities, and blending folk dance with ballet.
Backstage, Broadway, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Musicals, Theater

West Side Story

Arts Days: September 26, 1957: Tonight, Tonight
Behind the hit musical about the rival white “Jets” and the Puerto Rican “Sharks” is an updated, urban retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The inspiration and innovation was provided by a boatload of talent; Stephen Sondheim wrote the sophisticated lyrics, Leonard Bernstein the historic music.

Jerome Robbins directed and choreographed the revolutionary dance sequences like the Shark Girls’ exuberant “America” and the Jets’ “Cool.” Audiences saw how violent gang warfare shattered the dreams of star-crossed lovers Maria and Tony. The musical drew big crowds, shocking them all with the death of two young men at the end of Act One and of Tony at the close of the play. As stunned viewers exited the theater, few doubted the universality of Shakespeare’s love story.
Broadway, Musicals, America, Choreographers, Composers, Controversial, Playwrights & Plays, Shakespeare, Popular Culture

The John F. Kennedy Center

Arts Days: September 08, 1971: America’s Home for the Arts
In 1958, President Eisenhower signed legislation to build a national cultural center in Washington, D.C. Yet in the wake of President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Congress decided that the center would be a “living memorial” to our 35th president, who had worked tirelessly to elevate the role of the arts in America.

Opening night saw the debut performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, written in memory of the fallen president; other performers included the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Berkshire Boys Choir. Since that night, the Center has welcomed and entertained millions as the finest performers from around the globe have graced its multiple stages. In addition, its Education Department touches more than 11 million young people, teachers, and parents each year.
Architecture, Art Venues, Backstage, Ballet, Choreographers, Composers, Dance, Dance Legends, America, Innovators & Pioneers, Music, Music Legends, Musicals, Opera, Theater

Gene Kelly

Arts Days: August 23, 1912: Dancing Up a Storm
Dancer, actor, choreographer, boyishly handsome good guy—that was Gene Kelly, the fellow who bought a one-way ticket to New York City when he was a young man and soon landed a Broadway lead.

Kelly pushed for Hollywood to make more musicals and wound up dominating the musical revival in the 1940s and 50s. In timeless movies like Singin’ in the Rain and An American in Paris, Kelly’s elegant dancing stole the show.

He made it look so easy, yet his dancing demanded great strength, technical skill, and expression. In his choreography and in his performances, he melded everything from classical ballet to jazz to athletic prowess to tap dancing. And by the way, he could sing, too.
America, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Musicals, Movies & Movie Stars

Performers dancing to Berkeley’s choreography

Arts Days: November 29, 1895: Busby's Babes
Back in the 1930s, one young man's dream job was to choreograph the most attractive, scantily-clad chorus girls on Broadway and in Hollywood. Born William Berkeley Enos, this innovative dance director created visually-stunning spectacles for his audience, arranging dancers in elaborate geometric shapes, and taking inspiration from multi-pronged kaleidoscopes or snowflakes.

Sometimes, he’d position dancers to look like the spokes of a wheel, or a human waterfall. And then, he would film these spectacular routines with a mobile camera. Berkeley also shot close-ups of each pretty girl, making what he called a “parade of faces.” The Berkeley touch is clearly obvious in movies like 42nd Street and Broadway Serenade. And believe it or not, the man never took a single dance lesson in his entire life.
Broadway, Choreographers, Innovators & Pioneers, Dance Legends, Dance, Movies & Movie Stars

Johnny Campbell initiates a cheer

Arts Days: November 02, 1898: Gimme a U! Gimme an M!
Back in 1898, a student at the University of Minnesota named Johnny Campbell led a crowd in a fervent chant meant to fire up their football team, the Gophers. This then, believe it or not, was the birth of organized cheerleading, which has evolved significantly over the years to become a sort of combination of sports and art that includes complex dance routines and physcial stunts.

It's technically considered a sport, and is heavily dominated by female participants. But back in Campbell’s day, the first “yell leader” squad was comprised of six young men, who encouraged the crowd to support the athletes on the field. For decades, in fact, cheerleaders were almost always male. And guess what? The cheer Campbell made up that day—“Rah, Rah, Rah! Sku-u-mar, Hoo-Rah! Hoo-Rah! Varsity! Varsity! Varsity, Minn-e-so-tah!”—is still a favorite used today by the Gophers’ cheerleaders.
Innovators & Pioneers, America, Sports, Physical Activity, Choreographers

Jacques d’Amboise

Arts Days: July 28, 1934: Dancing for Joy
Few have done more to teach children about the joy of dance than this 1995 Kennedy Center Honoree.

D’Amboise was only 16 when he joined George Balanchine’s company, often partnered with Suzanne Farrell. As one of the earliest dancers and interpreters of Balanchine’s style, d’Amboise brought a powerful American energy to ballet.

When he was still a principal dancer of the New York City Ballet, Jacques d’Amboise founded the National Dance Institute, a program that teaches thousands of youngsters to dance and express themselves through ballet, jazz, and other forms of dance.
Europe, Dance, Dance Legends, Ballet, Choreographers

George Balanchine

Arts Days: January 22, 1904: A Ballet Master is Born
George Balanchine was one of the most prolific, and often considered the most influential, ballet choreographers of the 20th century. Born on this day in Saint Petersburg, Russia, he revolutionized classical ballet by eliminating complex plots and emphasizing movements that expressed music.

Balanchine created more than 400 ballets and founded the New York City Ballet. His artistry and fresh approach helped popularize ballet in the United States. Balanchine worked with thousands of dancers and created more than 400 ballets.
Choreographers, Dance Legends, Ballet, Dance

Alvin Ailey

Arts Days: January 05, 1931: A Dance Revelation
Alvin Ailey hadn't become serious about dance until he studied under the guidance of renowned choreographer Lester Horton.

By 1954, after years of professional dancing, Ailey's interests turned to choreography. Strongly influenced by "blood memories," or recollections of his childhood in a time of strong racial tensions and conflict, Ailey created 79 ballets in his lifetime that celebrate the southern African American experience in America.

In 1958 he formed his own company, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the first racially integrated dance company in the United States. Alvin Ailey was a 1988 Kennedy Center Honoree.
Choreographers, Dance Legends, Innovators & Pioneers, Dance

Chicago

Arts Days: June 23, 1927: Razzle Dazzle Man
From the hip roll to the finger snap to the perfectly angled hat—these are just some of the signature moves of the unmistakable “Fosse look.”

Jazz choreographer Bob Fosse invented so many moves that are now essential in modern dance that the casual observer may not even be aware of how widespread his influence continues to be. He broke new ground with dances that were demanding, entertaining, and provocative—often by creating one sharp, simple isolated movement. He honed his style in musicals like The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, Sweet Charity, and Pippin and saw his creativity peak in the musical Chicago and the autobiographical film All That Jazz.

The second film Bob Fosse directed, 1972’s Cabaret, won eight Academy Awards® including Best Director.
Broadway, Choreographers, Controversial, Dance, Dance Legends, Innovators & Pioneers, Jazz

Isadora Duncan

Arts Days: May 27, 1877: Something in the Way She Moves
Inspired by everything from ancient Greek art to the power of nature embodied in rushing rivers and rainy weather, Isadora Duncan poured all she had into dancing, which she believed to be the body’s expression of the soul’s innermost desires. She rejected classical ballet as too confining and controlled.

A true free spirit, Duncan brought a new athleticism to dancing; her choreography was full of leaps and jumps and skips. Barefoot, her long hair flying, dressed in Grecian-inspired flowing tunics, she was a captivating sight as she danced. She taught her students that the energy they need for dance originated in the solar plexus, a group of nerves in the body’s abdominal region.
America, Controversial, Dance, Dance Legends, Innovators & Pioneers, Choreographers

Martha Graham Dance Company

Arts Days: April 18, 1926: Mother of Modern Dance
The first dance performance Martha Graham attended at age 16 with the legendary Ruth St. Denis on the program, may have flickered through Graham’s mind when the lights went down at the 48th Street Theater in New York City, just before she made her debut. The movements she and her fellow dancers were performing that night were anything but traditional. What the audience witnessed was an early public display of Graham’s “contract and release” technique, in which muscles were held taut, then let go in accordance with the emotions a dancer sought to convey. The movements were angular, athletic, jagged—in marked contrast to the graceful style of classical ballet.

Within a year, Graham opened a dance school, attracting attention from many in the dance community. One of the most acclaimed dancers in history, Graham’s choreography shook up the world of modern dance.
Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Controversial, Innovators & Pioneers

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