Notes after midterm

Notes after midterm - 2/13/08 Doris Humphrey Background...

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2/13/08 Doris Humphrey Background info Doris Humphrey, like Graham, studied with Denishawn in 1916. Graham explored the inner landscape; Humphrey didn’t do this. She explored the craft of choreography. She explored social issues: the relationship of the individual to the society. She was a dance teacher in Oak Park, Illinois. Her mother was strong and independent; they supported the family through dance classes. She left the family because she wanted more; that’s when she went to study with Denishawn. She worked with St. Denis; she worked on the music visualizations with her. She was probably the motivating force behind the music visualizations. Doris Humphrey started out with choreographic experience in mind (like starting out with no music) She was into the craft of choreography; wrote a book called the Art of Making Dances , published in the early 1950s; the first book written by a dancer in a “how to” sort of expression. She’s talking about the constrictions of classical ballet; all of it is a formula. She’s talking about how it really didn’t change from the rigid; it is an inherent contradiction; she is misleading herself; a group of dancers to a group of individuals dancing the same (ex: night journey, they are all doing the same dance, rigid and doing the same thing). Yeah, it expresses the choreographer’s inner-self but not the dancer’s inner-selves in particular. The choreographer is in the utmost power! She talks about lust and desire (sexual desire most of the time). She also talks about the modern world (industry); she is also concerned with social problems, etc. Her book is like a modern dance manifesto; the book itself analyzes choreographer in a number of different ways: There are symmetrical poses (many different kinds). If you want to create a sense of balance, then you use symmetrical poses. If you want to create a sense of struggle, etc, then you use asymmetrical poses (off balance). The center of the stage is the strongest point of the stage; if you want to say something then do it in the center of the stage. If you want to be remote than stand far away. Lines of direction: center of the stage, diagonals are strong. The corners are very strong She left Denishawn in 1928 and went to New York. Ted Shawn stated how they were going to go on more Vaudeville tours to make more money and create a larger Denishawn in New York; Humphrey didn’t like this idea (you weren’t free to do stuff, you had a hard schedule). She left the company with Charles Weidman ; they became partners. Also leaving with them was Pauline Lawrence. Pauline was like a Horst; she handled costumes and designed them. She looked after Humphrey. Humphrey’s life temperament was very masculine; making sure she dressed properly and ate properly.
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Notes after midterm - 2/13/08 Doris Humphrey Background...

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