Race in motion: Modern dance, negro dance, and katherine dunham

Susan Manning*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In a series of lectures given at the New School for Social Research in 1931-32, John Martin delineated a genre of theatrical dance that had developed over the previous decade. As dance critic for the New York Times, Martin touted dancers committed to “the principle that emotional experience can express itself through movement directly, " dedicated not to a “system” but to a “point of view” (Martin 1965, 19-20). This point of view animated the dancing of Mary Wigman-a German dancer whom Martin had acclaimed when she performed in New York one year earlier-and Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, and Helen Tamiris-US dancers whom Martin had praised in reviews over the previous several years. His lectures were published in a slim volume entitled The Modern Dance, and within a few years this term became common usage for the genre Martin espoused at the New School. 1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Dance Studies Reader
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351613859
ISBN (Print)9781138088719
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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