Modern Dance Choreographers

Isadora Duncan

Inspired by Greek art, folk dance and nature. Believed in free movement with bare feet and loose fitting costumes

Ruth St.Denis and Ted Shawn (Denishawn)

A husband and wife duo; She drew inspiration from exotic cultures. Opened a dance school together that produced Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman


Denishawn students who started their own company based on flow of gravity and the idea of fall and recovery

Jose Limon

Expanded on the idea of fall and recovery and idea of weightlessness

Martha Graham

Famous for her contribution to modern dance and idea of contract and release

Merce Cunningham

Trained by Martha Graham, Became famous for his experimental dance technique that centered around probability and chance operation

Paul Taylor

Trained with both Graham and Balanchine. Choreographed cutting edge pieces that touched on contemporary issues.

Alvin Ailey

Choreographed semi theatrical pieces with inspiration from southern african-american culture. Choreographed "Revelations

Katherine Dunham

Use elements of Caribbean and African Dance in her choreography and intergraded it with ballet and modern technique

Lester Horton

Inspired by American Indian Dance, Teacher of Alvin Ailey