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At American Creative Dance, we free performers' creativity in a specific way to make dance and music.

In most dance performance in the Western world, the dancers are not creating but interpreting the creation of a choreographer, who may actually have lived a long time ago.  The dancers are taught the movement needed for a work and then execute that movement.  Depending on the kind of dance, they may have studied years to acquire the capacity to make the movement necessary for their art.  They are highly skilled, but they are not creating the work, unlike the visual artist, the poet or novelist, or even the choreographer or composer.

Please note that American Creative Dance does not think that the work of other dance companies or traditions is not good.  We admire greatly what others do.  We are just putting into high relief how we are different from other dance institutions.  As far as we know, no other dance company in the world does what we do.

American Creative Dance uses Van Ness Dance developed by its founder, which allows all the performers to be creators.  It has roots in the modern dance revolution of the twentieth century but is very different from what one sees in most traditional modern dance companies.  Somewhere along the way, modern dance stopped being radically different from ballet.  Twyla Tharp is right; there is no longer modern dance and classical dance.

We at American Creative Dance wonder what happened to modern dance.  We are continuing to explore some of the radical ideas that were part of the early modern dance revolution; ideas like how the human body moves and how movement can be used to make art, the relationship between the movement of the human body and the earth,  the relationship of dance to music and to other arts, what dance really is.

Van Ness was trained in the late fifties and early sixties in traditional modern dance of the time, especially the Denis-Shawn tradition.  She began her career interpreting other people's choreography and setting her own choreography on dancers.

While teaching classes to amateurs she read about a kind of improvisation based on solving specific movement problems.  She adapted that system to her own uses and found that many of her students were able to dance and to create dances that they liked and that other students enjoyed.


70 Fourth Place, #4-D, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11231
(718) 875-7369


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