homework Research Glen Tetley – produce a fact file page.
Indigenous forms of modern dance in the UK did not, in the main, survive in theatre practice much beyond the period known as world war 2. The 1960’s saw the development of a new genre: American- influenced modern dance.
Modern dance in the US (the point of interest for British styles in the 1960’s) began around the end of the 19 th & 20 th Centuries – when the rapid technological advances were taking place. As with other art forms Modern Dance addressed the new circumstances: Graham’s percussive, angular and often distorted movements ……. expressed the tensions of contemporary life. Characteristic of these dance styles was their challenging of conventions. Graham embraced a relationship to gravity that was in direct contrast to the danse verticle … the torso became fully active and the dancers angled their limbs, in contrast to the extended line of ballet.
The experimental mood of the 1960’s helped these new forms to become established. Traditional values were being questioned, political and social upheavals resulted in the student protest movement a socialist government was elected in 1964 Ideas of personal liberation abounded Modern dance, with its revolt against ballet’s rules and its focus on the condition of contemporary life, appealed to a new generation.
Modern dance in the UK, however, pursued a stronger lyricism (An artist's expression of emotion in an imaginative and beautiful way). Balletic aesthetics held sway, reinforced perhaps by the celebrated partnership of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev at the Royal Ballet that drew the attention of the media and public. The reserved English personality is a stereotype but the manners of a particular social elite embedded in the English style of ballet was one of the aesthetic influences in the ballet trained dancers with whom Robert Cohan worked with at LCDT. Cohan adapted and softened the Graham Idiom. He also took a more analytical, intellectual approach to movement which altered his teaching of Graham Technique.
At LCDT, Cohan’s work had the greatest influence on the rep. Dances tended to be idea or plot based but became increasingly abstract. For example in Eclipse (1967) and hunter of Angels (1967) are Graham based in vocab, share the psychological theme of domination and are explored through a narrative treatment.
In 1966, with a policy of returning to its own pioneering roots, Ballet Rambert underwent a major reorientation towards modern dance. Pierrot Lunaire (1967) – (a dance based on Commedia dell’ arte characters which conveyed a theme of the dismemberment of innocence. Narrative form was used but departed from balletic treatment in its use of realism, overt sexuality and the integration of scaffolding.) initiated an association with an American choreographer who had an important influence on Chris Bruce. Glen Tetley built on the balletic tradition of Ballet Rambert and infused it with his own personal Graham-balletic fusion. He drew on a mix of styles, having trained with Hanya Holm (german expressionist in modern dance), Margaret Craske (classical Ballet) and Anthony Tudor (modern ballet).
Bruce, who danced the role of Pierrot, emerged as the first home grown choreographer in this new genre. Tetley created a series of works for Ballet Rambert. His ‘embrace tiger and return to mountain’ (1968) illustrates an eclectic mix of approaches, blending ballet, Graham and tai chi in an abstract piece.
Task Create a spider showing important facts about Martha Graham and her technique.