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Study on Male Dancer’s Position in Early Modern Dance - Focus on ‘Shawn and His Men Dancers’ -

Cho, Eun Sook 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Most of the pioneers of modern dance that was developed in the beginning of 1900’s were women. And rather than showing woman’s beauty through dance, they used dance as means for solving social problems, especially for finding woman’s right. In the early modern dance, the role of men dancers was merely assisting role of doing only man’s role among the subject matter that women dancers intended to express. Under such circumstances, it was Ted Shawn(1891-1972) that influenced on improving men dancers’ position. It was from Shawn’s establishment of a dance troupe named as Shawn and His Men Dancers in 1933 after dissolution of Danishawn that he became to improve men dancers’ position. He formed a dance troupe at the farm house, Jacob’s Pillow that he had purchased. And until 1940 when his dance troupe was dissolved, the dance troupe had more than 1,000 times’ performances in about 750 cities of Canada, England and etc. including shows on tours in overall cities in the USA. And thereby, he could renew understanding of the audiences who had prejudice of men dancers. In order to show subjective men dancers’ shapes not as assistants to women dancers, Shawn showed works whose subject matter was sports, labor, war and etc. And by converting movements appearing in sports into dances, he emphasized men’s physical images. In addition, in his work, he included Christian ideas and used familiar folk music or spiritual songs to Americans and thereby obtained effective result of religious and interesting works. As representative works of Shawn, there are Kinetic Molpai(1935), Labor Symphony(1934), Olympiad(1936), Polonais (1933) and etc. Object of this study is to examine what kind of effort Ted Shawn made with his men dance troupe in order to improve men dancers’ position. In this study, the researcher intends to limit the period for examination from 1933 to 1940 when Shawn settled at Jacob’s Pillow and developed mend dance troupe after dissolution of Danishawn. The researcher is sure that study on Ted Shawn who made effort to improve men dancers’ position by forming the first men dance troupe would be meaningful for reconfirming men dancers’ position in modern dance. In order to achieve the object of study, the researcher intends to examine positions of women and men dancers in the modern dance world in the beginning of the 20th century and then argue Shawn and his men dancers’ activities and works.

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