Music: Intellectual Dance

Unlike other arts, ballet dancing never gets deep into psychological whys & wherefores. Ballet seldom expresses tragic ideas or describes serious situations. Its dancers are graceful athletes; its subjects usually fairy tales, quaint boy-&-girl situations, gentle vaudevillian satires. Some rebellious dancers, pining for more significant footwork, have balked at ballet's limitations. First of the rebels was the late great U. S. Dancer Isadora Duncan, who took to stage dancing like a Baptist to water, discarded ballet's fouettes and entrechats for natural movements, its powder-puff skirts for Greek robes.

Today's most prominent serious-minded U. S. dancer is a slim, dark-haired woman named Martha...