How Did Christopher Cunninghams Influence On American Dance

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During the mid 20th century modern dance was defined by two categories: dance drama and the anti-establishment rejection of structure. Through artists like Graham, Limón, and Humphrey dance was seen as expressive movement that told stories. However, artists like Cunningham and Nikolais rejected previously known dance ideas and created their own inventive choreography. Both the José Limón Dance Company and the Martha Graham Dance Company were asked to serve as cultural ambassadors during the Cold War to spread ideas abroad. Following World War II traditional values were rejected by Cunningham and Nikolais through their use of technology, Cunninghams chance dance, and Nikolais’concept of Total Theatre. The Cold War, ambassador program, and the counterculture movement of the 1960s all impacted modern dance, bringing about new ideas and a diverse group of artists. After World War II the U.S. Department of State decided to start sending arts organizations abroad as representatives of the arts in the U.S. The José Limón Dance Company was the first company that the U.S. Department of State chose to begin this idea. José Limón was a Mexican American dancer who did not start dancing until he was twenty years old. Limón enlisted in World War II and came back to learn that his teacher Doris Humphrey had given up on dance. In…show more content…
He wanted to bring his background in other arts to dance. Just like Cunningham he thought of dancers being one of many elements working together. However, unlike Cunningham he worked on each element himself and pieced them together seamlessly. He was known as the Father of Multimedia creating abstract works with no plot. Projections, lighting, costumes, and props with random, bizarre, colorful things on stage is what set him apart from the rest. This is also seen as a rejection of traditional values and ideas after World War II. For example,

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