Conferences / Special Topics Conference

Dance as Experience: Progressive Era Origins and Legacies


March 26 – March 28, 2015
Baltimore, MD, United States

In celebration of the program’s 100th anniversary, 100th anniversary, Peabody Dance is hosting a conference focusing broadly on dance and the progressive era and its parallels and legacy today. 

Peabody Dance, founded in November 1914, is one of the nation’s oldest dance training programs. Historical highlights of the program’s first hundred years include being the first American school to introduce Dalcroze Eurhythmics, instruction of Native American dances in the 20s and 30s, and a high degree of institutionalized interdisciplinary collaboration the likes of which was normally encountered only at summer festivals.

In celebration of the program’s 100th anniversary, 100th anniversary, Peabody Dance is hosting a conference focusing broadly on dance and the progressive era and its parallels and legacy today. The conference committee invites proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, and non-conventional forms of presentation (including performative papers, performances, and workshops) that address any of the topics listed below, as well as other topics related to the theme of dance and the Progressive Era:

  • The progressive roots of dance education and its early 20th century origins (e.g. the inclusion of dance as part of physical education curriculums, the establishment of university dance programs, and the growth of community dance organizations) and subsequent developments in dance education rooted in these ideals.
  • Dance, inclusion and democratizion as related to the empowerment of women, the status of men on the concert stage, African dance and Black identity, and portals of popular access to dance.
  • Dance and changing views of culture as expressed through Denishawn, exoticism, anthropology, and cinema; 21st century parallels as expressed through TV, internet and social media.
  • Early global interchange between dance practices and practitioners such as Dalcroze Eurythmics, Rudolf von Laban, Mary Wigman and Hanya Holm, Asadata Dafora, Michio Ito, Uday Shankar and La Argentina in the U.S., the influence of Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Josephine Baker, Fred Astaire, Martha Graham and American popular dance throughout the world, and the subsequent role played by dance festivals, such as Jacob’s Pillow, in promoting this interchange.
  • Current research and practice that incorporates ideas and ideals originating d during the progressive era including Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and dance integration.