The Verbal Challenge: Describing Modern Dance As Succinctly As Possible While Evoking Visual Image and Possible Definition of Intent

Yeah….It can be that difficult to maintain brevity when attempting to describe modern dance to the non-dancer.

This is by no means the first time I’ve visited this puzzle in my work but this is a most recent stab prompted by the impressive Jordon Cloud.

So, here goes. My meager attempt to describe modern dance with attention to creative intent, technical expression, and aesthetic. Gulp.

  • Modern dance IDEALLY seeks to convey meaning which may or may not include direct narrative.
  • Modern dance IDEALLY relies on organic, natural, and technical movement vocabulary, which supports that expression and which may or may not be codified.
  • As in everything, there is good and bad, but in modern dance either may be ugly.

What do you have?

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4 thoughts on “The Verbal Challenge: Describing Modern Dance As Succinctly As Possible While Evoking Visual Image and Possible Definition of Intent

  1. Modern dance so resists definition – I think you’ve done a quotable job here! I am no writer, but even more importantly, my dancer friends and the dance companies I’ve worked for have defied and resisted ANY labeling. Thank you for this constructive input!

    Ok, now please take a stab at contemporary. Pretty/Ugly please?

    1. Thank you so much!! I agree that Modern (and the Moderns) don’t take to labels readily. But we need to come up with something in order to make people understand, want to watch, and be willing to fund. My thinking cap is now on for the contemporary piece…. Pretty/Ugly….hmmmm….decorative? More soon….Thanks again! hvs

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