Introduction to Modern Dance Techniques
I can still remember being an undergraduate student, going from dance class to dance class and working as hard as I could each day. In the midst of all of that sweat and hard work, I was often curious about the techniques I was required to study. Sure, we had courses in dance history – but very seldom was a link made between what we did in the studio and what we learned in those courses. Often, movement exercises were presented with very little context. I always wanted more…I wanted to know not just what we were supposed to do but why and how those approaches to movement were developed. Through independent study and some guidance from my teachers, I was able to whet my appetite but admittedly, I was often left wanting more.
I’m excited that today’s dance students and educators have resources that will help them fair much better than I did. One such resource is Introduction to Modern Dance Techniques (Princeton Book Company, 2011), the first book by choreographer, dancer and teacher, Joshua Legg. This user-friendly and accessible text is designed to provide readers with a comparative approach to classical modern dance techniques – including the work of Merce Cunningham, Katherine Dunham, Martha Graham, Lester Horton, and many others. Packed with historical content, beautiful photographs and high quality lesson plans, Joshua’s book is well-suited to meet the needs of both students and educators looking to bridge the gap between history and practice in order to enrich and inform their study of modern dance. An accomplished dancer, choreographer and master teacher, Joshua Legg’s writing has appeared in both Dance Teacher and Dance Spirit magazines. He has taught at several institutions including Harvard and his alma mater, Shenandoah University. In addition to writing and teaching, he maintains his own pick -up dance company – you can learn more at www.joshualegg.com.