United Kingdom Modern Dance

United Kingdom Modern Dance

Europe

The experiences of that vast group of operators linked to Laban’s theories on the so-called modern educational dance later converged, in the sixties and seventies, into the new currents of British modernism. According to Ehistorylib, this also brought together the legacy of individual pioneers such as M. Morris (1891-1980) and the new orientations determined following the introduction and spread of American modern dance. The 1960s and 1970s were characterized by an increasing mix of choreographic dialects. Alongside the Soviet star and defector R. Nureev, champion of the tradition of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), which in tandem with Fonteyn aroused delusions of passion in the audience of ballet fans, new different experiences made their way: modern dance conquered proselytes, choreographic traditions even very distant, such as the Indian one, they established solid didactic bases thanks to important personalities who elected the capital of the former Empire as their residence, opening schools and study centers there, while the effervescent cultural climate of Swinging London partly infected the world of choreography as well. With the reorganization, in 1966, of the Ballet Rambert, which abandoned the large repertoire and was remodeled as an agile small-scale ensemble, authors such as N. Morrice (b. 1931), C. Bruce (b. 1945) or the American G. Tetley (b. 1926) found a new and effective field of expression. The direction of the Royal Ballet, which from 1963 had passed from de Valois to Ashton, came in 1970 MacMillan, who renewed the repertoire as well as with his own personal contribution, also inviting prestigious personalities from the international scene such as J. Robbins or H. van Manen. Alongside the major companies – the Royal Ballet, Sadler’s Wells Theater Ballet, the London Festival Ballet and Ballet Rambert – numerous other smaller companies were born in those decades. The sixties and seventies also saw the multiplication of initiatives in the experimental field and modern dance: alongside the “major” company, the London Contemporary Dance Theater, founded in 1963 by the magnate Robin Howard on the model, originally, of the American one of M. Graham, new small groups and companies have been created (the Extemporary Dance Theater, the Second Stride, the collective X6, the Mantis group, and many others, all marked by an existence as vital as it is precarious), new festivals have been entirely dedicated to the so-called new dance, first of all the Dance Umbrella conceived in 1979 by Val Bourne. New magazines have also joined the old and traditional specialized publications such as Dancing Times (founded in 1894) and Dance and Dancers (founded in 1950).

Between these, New Dance, a periodical dedicated to experimentation, published from 1977 to 1988, first in London then in Leeds, by a collective formed mainly of young dancers and performers (including Fergus Early, a key figure also in the creation of the Chishenale Dance Space, a large alternative space far from the city center and privileged platform of the more experimental dance), the Dance Theater Journal, published by the Laban Center, and Dance Research, a magazine that since 1983 has collected materials edited by the Society for Dance Research. New choreographers have established themselves, both on the “modern” and on the classical side: among these Siobhan Davies, R. North (b.1945), and later Michael Clark, Laurie Booth, Richard Alston, David Bintley. The 1980s also witnessed the eruption on the British cultural scene of a great variety of traditions of different ethnic origins (Indian, Jamaican, African, etc.) as well as the consolidation and reaffirmation of specifically British cultural diversities. This is how companies such as Adzido were born, a Pan-African complex that harks back to the traditions of the dances of the black continent, or groups such as the one led by Shobana Jesaysingh, a dancer and choreographer of Indian origin who draws on her own specific tradition to create her own original form of contemporary dance.. On the other hand, the great ballet companies and the new “regional” formations of both “modern” and classical roots, favored in the Eighties by the new attitudes of openness and decentralization promoted by the Arts Council (the government body that oversees the distribution of public subsidies), after decades of creative and financial expansion of the sector have seen on the one hand a decrease in their resources coincidentally with the worsening of the economic crisis that hit the country, and on the other hand they experienced a first serious creative and talent crisis. Even the Royal Ballet, whose direction, after MacMillan, was succeeded by N. Morrice (1977-86) and from 1986 Anthony Dowell, had to bet on numerous guest “stars”. On the other hand, theoretical studies have had great impetus in recent years, so much so that today, alongside the Labanian institution, moved to London in 1972 and became the Laban Center for Movement and Dance, other university institutions are also authorized to issue regular graduate degrees and research doctorates in dance subjects, including the University of Surrey and Middlesex Polytechnic.

Another prestigious British institution in the dance field is the Royal Academy of Dancing (RAD), a body that oversees the correct professional education in the ballet field, through a system of periodic checks and exams widespread, as well as throughout the country, also in various parts of the world, including Italy. University of Surrey and Middlesex Polytechnic. Another prestigious British institution in the dance field is the Royal Academy of Dancing (RAD), a body that oversees the correct professional education in the ballet field, through a system of periodic checks and exams widespread, as well as throughout the country, also in various parts of the world, including Italy. University of Surrey and Middlesex Polytechnic. Another prestigious British institution in the dance field is the Royal Academy of Dancing (RAD), a body that oversees the correct professional education in the ballet field, through a system of periodic checks and exams widespread, as well as throughout the country, also in various parts of the world, including Italy.

United Kingdom Modern Dance