Late Modern Dance Mac Gates

Merce Cunningham

Cunningham was born April 16, 1919 in Washington and Died on July 26, 2009 in New York, New York.

Philosophy: Cunningham was famous for his collaborations. He believed in working with others to make art. Some of his most famous works were created with his life partner, John Cage. He and Cage used stochastic, random, movement which varied from the more traditional movements.
Another major part of his philosophy was the use of technology. Creating productions using technology was his passion. He enjoyed the process of working with technology, and he collaborated with digital artists, Paul Kaiser and Shelley Eshkar to create a program called Hand-drawn Spaces.

Cunningham's Legacy is cemented by his Legacy Plan. His dance foundation created this legacy plan to preserve and continue his teaching. The plan even outlined an international tour for his company for after he passed away. The Legacy Plan allows dancers to work with the choreography of Cunningham long after his death.

Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey was born in Rogers, Texas on January 5, 1931 and died on December 1, 1989 in Manhattan, New York.

"What I like is the line and technical range that classical ballet gives to the body. But I still want to project to the audience the expressiveness that only modern dance offers, especially for the inner kinds of things." -Alvin Ailey (quote on his dance technique)
Dance Philosophy: Ailey wanted his dancers to have a "ballet bottom" and a "modern top". Ailey was unique in the fact that he never really shaped the dancers to dance exactly how he wanted. He allowed his dancers to add personal style that best highlighted their own skills and abilities. He was one of the first choreographers that had this openness to input from his dancers.

Ailey also focused much of his choreography on portraying the black experience in the world, especially through his creation of Revelations. Ailey will always be remembered because he opened the door for African Americans in dance. His blending of styles has been influential in modern choreography. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater continues to teach dance the way that Ailey intended it to be taught.

José Limón

Limón was born in Culiacan, Mexico on January 12, 1908 and he died on December 2, 1972

Limón was extremely against the idea of overly structured choreography. He believed that it squandered the creativity and expressive qualities of the dance. Limón always told his students to use clarity and simplicity while sharing their dance. Over strenuous actions took away the artistic beauty of the dance. He considered the body as an "instrument" of expression that could "speak to an audience .
"when you stop trying to be pretty ... you will be beautiful" - Jose Limón (to his students). This quote expresses Limón's efforts to steer away from the traditional less expressive styles of dance

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