How Did Martha Graham Influence Modern Dance

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Lester Horton. Martha Graham. Erick Hawkins. Isadora Duncan. Ruth St. Denis. Alvin Ailey. All of these people, more than dancers, teachers, and choreographers, have created their own dance style that has changed the base of modern dance. Modern dance, which developed in the late 19th century and early 20th century, was a movement that opposed previous ballet traditions and interpretive dances. There are various modern dance styles, each with their own principals and creators. Modern dance pioneers, specifically Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins, and Lester Horton, have contributed to the modern dance world through their artistic styles, technique, and who they influenced.
American dancer, teacher, and choreographer, Martha Graham is considered
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This is where her experimentation began (“Martha Graham”). She ignored classical ballet traditions and developed what the body could do on it’s own, creating the phrase “percussive movements”, a common saying to describe various dance moves today (“Martha Graham”). Graham created a dance language that used the pull of gravity and gestures to express emotion (“Martha Graham” St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture). The movement originates from three places: the action of the contraction and release, the pelvis, and the emotional inner self. She used the phrase “contract and release” to describe the movement quality: the contraction was dramatic with despair, whereas the release had a softer quality. The pelvis became a point of stability and space reveals the emotional aspect of a dance (“Martha Graham – The Graham Technique”). The movement Graham used was never decorative, but rather fearless with falls and swings. It was built on horizontal lines (Kisselgoff). Her technique movements were new and innovative because her technique differed from the dance styles before her and used different body parts to
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