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Beginning Modern Dance With Web Resource

Beginning Modern Dance With Web Resource


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    Beginning Modern Dance text and web resource introduce undergraduate and high school students to modern dance as a performing art through participation, appreciation, and academic study in the dance technique course.

    In the book, 50 photos with concise descriptions support students in learning beginning modern dance technique and in creating short choreographic or improvisational studies. For those new to modern dance, the book provides a friendly orientation on the structure of a modern dance technique class and includes information regarding class expectations, etiquette, and appropriate attire. Students also learn how to prepare mentally and physically for class, maintain proper nutrition and hydration, and avoid injury.

    Beginning Modern Dance supports students in understanding modern dance as a performing art and as a medium for artistic expression. The text presents the styles of modern dance artists Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey and José Limón, Katherine Dunham, Lester Horton, and Merce Cunningham along with an introduction to eclectic modern dance style. Chapters help students begin to identify elements of modern dance as they learn, view, and respond to dance choreography and performance.

    The accompanying web resource offers 38 interactive video clips and photos of dance technique to support learning and practice. In addition, e-journal and self-reflection assignments, performance critiques, and quizzes in the web resource help students develop their knowledge of modern dance as both performers and viewers.

    Through modern dance, students learn new movement vocabularies and explore their unique and personal artistry in response to their world. Beginning Modern Dance text and web resource support your students in their experience of this unique and dynamic genre of dance.

    Beginning Modern Dance is a part of Human Kinetics’ Interactive Dance Series. The series includes resources for modern dance, ballet, and tap dance that support introductory dance technique courses taught through dance, physical education, and fine arts departments. Each student-friendly text includes a web resource offering video clips of dance instruction, assignments, and activities. The Interactive Dance Series offers students a guide to learning, performing, and viewing dance


    Textbook for undergraduate beginning modern dance courses in dance, dance and theater, fine arts, physical education, and general education programs. Textbook for magnet arts schools and advanced high school dance programs.

    Table of Contents


    How to Use the Web Resource

    Chapter 1. Introduction to Modern Dance
    Defining Modern Dance
    Benefits of Studying Modern Dance
    Basics of Modern Dance Class
    Expectations and Etiquette for Students
    Structure of Modern Dance Class
    Unique Features of Modern Dance
    Appreciating Modern Dance As a Performing Art

    Chapter 2. Preparing for Class
    Dressing for Class
    Carrying Dance Gear
    Preparing Yourself Mentally and Physically

    Chapter 3. Safety and Health
    Studio Safety
    Personal Safety
    Basic Anatomy
    Basic Kinesiology
    Preventing and Treating Common Dance Injuries
    Flexibility and Stretching
    Achieving Optimal Fitness
    Nutrition, Hydration, and Rest

    Chapter 4. Modern Dance Basics      
    Elements of Dance
    Movement Preferences in Modern Dance
    Basic Positions
    Stage Directions
    Basic Movements

    Chapter 5. Dance Composition Basics
    Creative Process in Dance
    Aesthetic Principles
    Meaning Making
    Choreographic Techniques
    Choreographic Structures
    Choreographic Forms

    Chapter 6. Performing and Responding to Modern Dance
    Learning Movement for Performance
    Viewing and Responding to Modern Dance Performances

    Chapter 7. History of Modern Dance
    Origins of Modern Dance
    Evolution of Modern Dance
    Dance in Higher Education
    Relevance of Modern Dance Today

    Chapter 8. Five Major Styles of Modern Dance
    Martha Graham
    Merce Cunningham
    Lester Horton
    Katherine Dunham
    Eclectic Approach
    Somatic Practices
    Identifying Your Instructor's Approach

    References and Resources
    About the Author

    About the Author

    Miriam Giguere, PhD, is the dance program director in the department of performing arts at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Giguere has been teaching modern dance in higher education for 22 years. Before teaching at the university level, Giguere danced professionally with three modern dance companies. As dance program director at Drexel, she created the curriculum for the dance major to include multiple styles of modern dance. Using her experience as a dance teacher in an academic setting, she developed 11 new courses and associated teaching materials.

    Giguere is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences on the topics of best practices in dance education and cognition during the creative process in dance. Her dissertation on the latter topic received the 2009 National Dissertation Award from the American Educational Research Association Arts and Learning Special Interest Group. She was the invited keynote speaker for Singapore’s Dance Education Conference 2010. She holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in dance from Temple University.

    She is a member of the National Dance Educators Organization (NDEO) and the Congress on Research in Dance. Giguere also is a peer reviewer for the Journal of Dance Education and the Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship.

    In her free time, Giguere enjoys practicing yoga and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Ralph, reside in Glenside, Pennsylvania.


    The web resource offers 38 video clips of modern dance instruction plus photos to support acquisition of technique. This online tool also includes e-journal and self-reflection assignments, glossary terms, quizzes, and links for further study. Created for university, college, or high school learning environments, Beginning Modern Dance Web Resource offers supplemental interactive instruction to support students in learning to perform, understand, and appreciate modern dance as a performing art.

    All ancillary materials for this text are FREE to course adopters and available online at