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Pina Bausch (New York Times): http://nyti.ms/1Uwjta9 

William Forsythe 

(TheGuardian): https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2008/oct/07/william.forsythe.dance 

Crystal Pite (The New Yorker): http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/a-rippling-tempest-of-dance 

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And Chapter 7 in your Text: Improvisation

Modern Cont. Concert Dance Today and Improv

Please view the following clips!

Improv- one way of approaching choreography: we will look at Contact Improv, Improv with Forsythe, and Naharin’s Gaga technique this week.

Improv with William Forsythe:

Forsythe: Improv




Contact Improv

History of Contact Improv:


Contact Improv: 1972


Dance Theatre- Pina Bausch- her work is hugely theatrical. Notice the way in which she expresses ideas through movement. Dance Theatre.

*Please read this brief dance review of Café Muller as it is challenging to view out of context (there is an additional review here of Rite of Spring by Bausch, which are not responsible for)

Café Muller in its entirety:


Café Muller excerpt- Pina Bausch:


Kontakthoff- Pina Bausch (this clip includes commentary in German for which you are obviously not responsible for, just watch the dance to give you an idea of Bausch’s work)


Traditional Ballet infused with Contemporary Modern Dance

William Forsythe:

In the Middle Somewhat Elevated


The Second Detail: Forsythe


The Magic of Gaga and Ohad Naharin: see the way in which Naharin uses his Gaga technique to develop choreography, another way of using a form of improv.

Side Note: Batsheva Dance Company is my personal favorite dance company in the world. Based in Israel, this group of dancers led by the masterful Naharin, is an amazingly committed, talented, and inspired group of artists. I hope you enjoy these pieces (Echad Mi Yodea and Max) as much as I do. The Gaga technique is also fascinating.

Ohad Naharin and Gaga:




Echad Mi Yodea: Batsheva


Naharin: Max


Pite and Cloudgate- contemporary modern dance artists

Crystal Pite:


Crystal Pite: Tempest Pike




Journal Entry Questions:

  1. How do you compare the Pioneers of Early Modern Dance to today’s Dancemakers? Choose one work from a pioneer (Duncan, Graham, Ailey, etc. and compare to a work of one of the choreographers we viewed this week) What are the similarities and influences that you see? How has it evolved?
  2. How does ballet play a role in contemporary modern dance with regard to William Forsythe’s work?
  3. Which period of modern dance are you drawn to?
  4. What do you think about Pina Bausch’s Dance Theatre? What do you think Café Muller is about?
  5. What do you think about Ohad Naharin’s Gaga technique?
  6. Briefly describe your response to Naharin’s Echad Mi Yodea, what do you think makes this work so effective?
  7. Describe Crystal Pite’s process and how she works.

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