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MUSIC

One of American Creative Dance's greatest contributions is in music.

Modern dance innovators of the twentieth century explored the relationship of dance to music and experimented with a number of possibilities, though most dance one sees today has reverted to the pattern that existed before the modern dance revolution.  Even so, many modern dance choreographers today are different from ballet choreographers in choosing popular music instead of classical music for their work.  Choreographers have set work to Patsy Kline.  At this time Twyla Tharp's dance is showing on Broadway to Billy Joel's music in Movin' Out .  It is a difference but not really an innovation.

In the West, dance is done "to" music."  When a choreographer wants to create a dance, traditionally, he selected a piece of music and then set his dance on that music.  Sometimes the music had been written specifically for dance as in the case of the ballets by Western composers such as Tchaikovsky and Chopin.  Sometimes not.

The music selected determined a lot of things about the dance, at the very least its length and its time qualities.

Several early modern dance innovators challenged that way of working with music and interesting things developed.  Few of those things have lasted. 

The founder of American Creative Dance was interested in the matter of music as well as dance.  She sought a way for the dance to be important in its own right, without the necessity of music at all.  What she discovered as well was a system that permits music to be created with the dance, for the musicians to be partners in the process as well as the dancers.

Once the dance system was in place and dancers could make the movement impulses from the lower spine and abdomen and control those impulses through the dimensions of time, force, and space, dance composition was possible.  Dancers can solve creative problems alone in solo work or in ensembles with other dancers.  The patterns of the movement impulses establish the rhythm of the dance; the qualities of the movement give the structure

 

Musicians who are willing to learn how to see the dance and to follow it (instead of a printed score for instance) can create music simultaneously with the dancers

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