How and Why Does European and American Dance Differ?

Open Access
Duffett, Carolyn Margaret
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Elisha Clark Halpin, Thesis Supervisor
  • Susan B Russell, Honors Advisor
  • Dance
  • Ireland
  • United States
  • History
This thesis explores the roots of both European and American modern dance, where the two overlap, and how they differ. The fusion of dance styles among different countries has become very common; however, key differences still exist between dance works in Europe and the United States. In the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to experience these differences as I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland for three weeks. While in Ireland, I participated in the Dublin Dance Festival where my classmates and I witnessed several performances by international dance companies. I also took classes from choreographers who teach and perform in Ireland, the UK, and Germany among several others. My research aims to uncover not only how the histories of European and American dance differ, but the large contrast in perception of dance in these two different parts of the world as well.