Facts about Modern Dance

Modern dance resembles modern art, it is all about grooving your body to the rhythm of the music in your own style. Although this dance form developed in the early 1900s, ever since then this art form has improvised according to every dancer's interpretation instead of following structured steps. Find a detailed information about the same in this article.
Dance is considered to be the reflection of your soul, it is all about setting your body free to groove to the music and communicate with your audience without even saying a single word. It is one of the best forms of non-verbal communication. Dance is also regarded as a stress buster and the best way to express your inner feelings. Usually, most dance forms follow a rigid pattern of movements, costumes, shoes and various other things. But then came a dance form that started to rebel against the framework in which most of the dance forms were cast, this was termed as 'modern dance'.

It was initiated in the early years of the 20th century and was more of a relaxed dance form that did not restrict itself to the structured techniques and costumes, rather broke all the inhibitions and focused on the creativity of expressing oneself. Although this dance form was innovated by some of the prominent dancers like Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Isadora Duncan and so on, it has undergone various changes since then. Even today choreographers use their emotions and expressions to portray this dance form rather than following the structured code of steps of their mentors.

History and Development

The history of modern dance goes way back to the 20th century. It all began with Loie Fuller who experimented with free dancing movements and gave birth to an altogether new dance form called modern dance. During the same period, Ruth Denis developed her own dance form based on depicting various mythology incidents. Great dancers like Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Isadora Duncan and many other followed her footsteps then. These dancers did not restrict themselves to the methods and ideologies of the initiators, rather explored the gravity of this dance form and developed a new language of movement.

Development in this art form has been immense, pupils let go of their mentors teachings and methods to introduce their own personal orientation. The dance form lays emphasis on personal expression and lyrical movement, that relates to the individual style and technique of the dancer. In this way, the dancers are able to connect with their audiences. Today, modern dance is perceived to convey modern issues in the economic, political and social arena.


Modern dance is usually performed bare feet and does not require specific costumes or shoes, but prefers unconventional costuming. It also rejects the upright, erect posture of the body and instead favors a more free or relaxed style of dancing. The interesting fact about this dance form is that, dancers use their body weight to enhance dance movements. This dance form also encourages to break the preset dance rules and design your own movements to evoke various emotions and moods like passion, anger, love, humor, ecstasy, and many others.

Since it focuses in expressing the innermost feelings, it becomes easier to connect with the audiences and your inner self. It is usually performed on some soothing music, but the dancer can choose to not use music at all and still get the audience glued to the performance. As this dance form majorly involves movements developed and performed to its own rhythm, it makes the dance form appear natural and unique at the same time.

Most Prominent Modern Dancers

Alvin Ailey
Isadora Duncan

Alwin Nikolais
Lester Horton

Anna Sokolow
Martha Graham

Charles Weidman
Merce Cunningham

DancersLoie Fuller
Paul Taylor

Daniel Nagrin
Pearl Primus

Doris Humphrey
Ruth St. Denis

Garth Fagan
Twyla Tharp

Hanya Holm
Steve Paxton

Helen Tamiris
Ted Shawn

This was all about the facts on modern dance you always wanted to know. Here is me signing off and you keep dancing, one of the best ways to express yourself!