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Notes on Recent Dance

BY SHIFTING ATTENTION FROM finished dance to the process of its achievement, choreographers produced the current radical shift in modern dance’s brief and intense history. The form, which had begun at the turn of the century as an exotic replication of natural phenomena, “Flame,” “The Moth,” mood “La Marseillaise,” or mythic personages “Radha,” developed a taste for dramatic confrontation and social commentary in the 1930s. The powerful personalities of Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, Tamiris (Helen Becker), and Hanya Holm then dominated creative thinking and practice for the decade and formed the core of modern dance development. However, their insistence upon emotional expressiveness and linear development was increasingly less suited to sensibilities not annealed in the crucible of the 1930s ideological contention. The first significant departure from their strict dance

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