I fear that our terminology seems quite murky. What is "modern", what is "great". For example, non less than Picasso was influenced by an exhibit of African art he saw in Paris, he tweaked the angles and dimenesions, and presto, cubism was born. (I've vastly oversimplified there to make a point) I think we can agree that Picasso can be called a "modern" artist. Yet he was highly influenced by an art form that was not modern. Certainly, the pyramids in Egypt and the sphinx are not "Western civilization", but yet can be considered one of the pinncles of human achievement. What about the Great Wall of China, again not Western Civilization. Again, a great achievment. The same holds true for dance. And to say that ballet has innovated, while other forms have not, is simply not accurate. When I travelled to Bali in 1996, we learned about the National Dance Academy there. When students there apply to graduate, they have to choreograph a concert. They are required to base their dances on new movement and new themes. They cannot merely rehash movment they've alredy learned. I don't honestly recall any new ballet vocabulary, in terms of the lexicon of steps, which have been added to the roster within the last 25 years. Mabye men are doing more beats or batterie these days, but other than that?? Although of course, there are always new ballets being choreographed all the time. Many of which, dare I say, appropriate from modern and ethnic forms, as we've mentioned previously in this topic. Like it or not, we are in a post-modern era, where the boundaries and criteria of what is great, modern, Western art, Eastern art, and what belongs to or can be claimed by what civilization is open to question.
<small>[ 15 March 2004, 11:31 PM: Message edited by: trina ]</small>