Exploring Lester Horton´s Dance Style Essay

Exploring Lester Horton´s Dance Style Essay

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Dance is the universal language of the soul. Dance speaks of the truest inner feelings and life experiences of a dancer. Every dancer and/or choreographer will grow up to have a very distinctive style and set of unique techniques, dance values, and teaching methods to be followed. The dancer whom we will be analyzing in this paper is a pioneer of modern dance, Lester Horton. He was born on January 23rd, 1906 in Indianapolis, Indiana (Segal, 1998). He had moved to California to create dances and had developed a fresh and unique style of technique and choreography (Warren, 1977). He established the first permanent theater in America devoted to dance, and organized one of the first integrated modern dance companies (Yeoh, 2012).
Lester Horton has a very distinctive and duo faceted dance style. Being in Horton’s dance classes differ from the choreographies he has created (Suggs, 1990). In this choreographic assignment, we had decided to merge both of his technique and elements of his dramatic choreographies. We focussed on Lester Horton’s dance movements, shapes from his basic technique and his theatrical choreographical elements which have been heavily influenced by Native American Folk Dance, Japanese arm movements, Javanese and Balinese upper body movements (Shelver, 2013). Throughout this paper, we will argue that our choreography has clearly depicted the style of Lester Horton through the inclusion of the three main elements of Horton’s style. His focus on ethnic inclusiveness which had spurred from Native, African, and Japanese body and arms movements, simple techniques which were used to build strong and versatile dancers, and dramatic and musical elements of choreography merged with those techniques to create a visually pleas...


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...astly pushing the chairs with force to the ground to depict extreme rage in respect to the accents of the music. Since we have used the music of beloved, we paid close attention to the musicality work that had to be done, therefore, minute, detailed, and emotional movements were used to depict the accents, such as jumps, sharp stretched of the feet and arms angularly, jittering the fingers, slamming of chairs, and quick falls to the floor.
In conclusion, the structure of our own choreography has brought out the true essence of the duo-faceted style of Horton, as we brought together the basic foundation of style which has derived from world dance practices, along with techniques which allow the dancers to form a strong and versatile body to be able to perform his creative and intricate movements portrayed through narratives and theatrical aspects of dance and drama.

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