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10 Famous Choreographers

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by: Joanna Burgess
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A choreographer gives guidance, organization and purpose to a dancer's movements. He or she is to the dancer what the songwriter is to the singer.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The evolution of choreography over the last 150 years has radically transformed the way we experience dance. Artists like the wildly free Isadora Duncan and the incredibly focused Martha Graham began the modern dance movement by loosening the strict formality of 19th-century ballet. George Balanchine was the formidable force behind the neoclassical ballet movement, while Jerome Robbins took ballet into the world of musical theater, creating some of the most popular and well-loved productions on Broadway. The youngest choreographer included on this list, Rennie Harris, has even elevated the popular art of hip-hop dancing, bringing it front and center on the world stage.

These artists have not only contributed to the evolution of dance in the 20th and 21st centuries. Their legacies continue to inspire new generations of dancers and choreographers, some of whom will undoubtedly transform what we see on the stages of the future.

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