Dance, Modernism, and Modernity  book cover
1st Edition

Dance, Modernism, and Modernity

ISBN 9781138313040
Published October 7, 2019 by Routledge
244 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This collection of new essays explores connections between dance, modernism, and modernity by examining the ways in which leading dancers have responded to modernity.

Burt and Huxley examine dance examples from a period beginning just before the First World War and extending to the mid-1950s, ranging across not only mainland Europe and the United States but also Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific Asian region, and the UK. They consider a wide range of artists, including Akarova, Gertrude Colby, Isadora Duncan, Katherine Dunham, Margaret H’Doubler, Hanya Holm, Michio Ito, Kurt Jooss, Wassily Kandinsky, Margaret Morris, Berto Pasuka, Uday Shankar, Antony Tudor, and Mary Wigman. The authors explore dancers’ responses to modernity in various ways, including within the contexts of natural dancing and transnationalism. This collection asks questions about how, in these places and times, dancing developed and responded to the experience of living in modern times, or even came out of an ambivalence about or as a reaction against it.

Ideal for students and practitioners of dance and those interested in new modernist studies, Dance, Modernism, and Modernity considers the development of modernism in dance as an interdisciplinary and global phenomenon.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations



Claire Warden





  1. Introduction: Dance, Modernism, and Modernity
  2. Ramsay Burt and Michael Huxley

  3. Dance and Modernism: A Historiographical Consideration
  4. Michael Huxley and Ramsay Burt

  5. Dance and Modernism: Natural Dancing and Modernity
  6. Ramsay Burt and Michael Huxley

  7. Dance and Modernism: Transnational Currents
  8. Ramsay Burt and Michael Huxley


    PART 2

  9. Wassily Kandinsky, Dance, and Interdisciplinary Modernism 1908-1914
  10. Michael Huxley

  11. Breaking into the Male Modernist World: Akarova and Margaret Morris
  12. Ramsay Burt

  13. Modernist Dance, War, and Precarious Life: Isadora Duncan and Mary Wigman
  14. Ramsay Burt

  15. The New Ballet: Kurt Jooss, Ballet and Modernity
  16. Michael Huxley

  17. The New Ballet: Antony Tudor’s Jardin aux Lilas and the Loss of Gesture
  18. Ramsay Burt

  19. Breaking Boundaries: Hanya Holm from Trend to My Fair Lady
  20. Michael Huxley

  21. Modernity, Ritual and Diasporic Culture: Katherine Dunham and Berto Pasuka

          Ramsay Burt



Ramsay Burt and Michael Huxley



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Ramsay Burt is Professor of Dance History at De Montfort University, UK. He is director of the university’s Dance, Drama and Performance Studies Research Institute. His publications include The Male Dancer (1995), Alien Bodies (1997), Judson Dance Theater (2006), and Ungoverning Dance (2016).

Michael Huxley is Emeritus Reader in Dance and former director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Dance at De Montfort University, UK. His most recent book is The Dancer’s World 1920–1945: Modern Dancers and Their Practices Reconsidered (2015), and he has been published in dance periodicals such as Dance Chronicle, Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, and Discourses in Dance.