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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: growth of dance in America
(Summer-Fall, 1976)

Emerging possibilities and promise of dance,   pp. 200-201 PDF (1.3 MB)

Page 200

The reaching out of dance from New York,
the acknowledged dance capital of the world,
to innumerable new foci of activity and lead-
ership across the country is symptomatic
of the current explosive growth of dance.
While none of these developing centers can
yet begin to compete with New York for
diversity and scope, certainly the phenomen-
ally burgeoning interest in the regions
dramatically underscores the now heightened
importance of dance in America.
*Special thanks are due to those Council
members-Curtis Carter, Karen Cowan, Diane
Pruett and Virginia Weiler-who led and
coordinated the collaborative effort.
This number, planned in cooperation with the
Wisconsin Dance Council,* seeks to highlight
the selected issues that are of particular
importance to understanding both the present
state and future needs of dance as a develop-
ing force in American culture.
A major concern of the writers is the ques-
tion of dance literacy: more and better writing
and scholarship; developing conceptual meth-
odologies for the study of dance; combatting
the anti-intellectualism that seems to sur-
round our present approaches to dance;
overcoming limited access to research mate-
rials; the uses, possibilities, and limits of
formal notation systems and such technologi-
cal developments as video tape in the tasks
of preserving dance and augmenting its future
creative development. The almost inherent
evanescence of dance has constituted its
largest stumbling block!
Another concern is the place of dance in
colleges and universities. It began its career
in academe in departments of physical educa-
tion, largely through the pioneering efforts
of Margaret H'Doubler, who inaugurated the
first university dance major at the University
of Wisconsin-Madison in 1926, after ten years
of experimenting with a method for making
dance a vehicle for education. H'Doubler,
who believed in the idea of dance for every-
one, saw performance as a refinement of
movement learning that encompassed the
participation of all. The philosophy of dance
education that evolved from the work of
H'Doubler and her students has tended to

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