Toward a Compositional Perspective on Post-Modern Dance: Cunningham/Cage and Beyond

Publication Year



dance and music, post-modern dance, composition, choreography


Dance | Music | Music Performance | Performance Studies | Theatre and Performance Studies


The relationship of music to dance and dance to music has been, since the era of romantic ballet, one of restriction and dependence. The exacting demands of the choreographer define the limits within which the composer must work, and these limits are defined not only by a story line and desired emotional impact of the work, but also by a pre-determined climactic structure which limits the points of interaction between dance and music. Tempo, overall structure and duration of the work, mood, and even the rhythmic structure and complexity of the music are restricted by the climactic structure and dramatic intent of the choreographer.

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