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Definition: Modern is a term used to describe contemporary dance. Modern dance centers on a dancer's own interpretations instead of structured steps, as in traditional ballet dancing. A modern dancer rejects the classical ballet stance of an upright, erect body, often opting instead for deliberate falls to the floor.

Martha Graham is considered one of the foremost pioneers of American modern dance. In order to express the passion, rage and ecstasy of humans, she developed her very own language of movement. Graham's brave vision for modern dance earned her several awards and honors.

Modern dancers express their innermost emotions through dance, often becoming closer to their inner-selves. Before attempting to choreograph a routine, the modern dancer decides which emotions to try to convey to the audience.

Also Known As: 20th Century Concert Dance
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