I think that perhaps the time has come for us to go back to narrative dance, at least for a while. With every popular book being turned into a movie, tv show, and/or musical, it seems as if stories are what people want. Once we've brought in an audience with a story as a pretext, they might find themselves enjoying the dance for itself, even without the plot.
Well, from the modern dance I've seen in the past 10 or so years, narrative is back, big time--along with "feelings." In Philly alone, we have two excellent dance/theater or physical theater companies: Headlong and Pig Iron. If their dances aren't "narrative" in the traditional sense, they are often concerned with stories. In less able hands, however, "narrative dance" often comes in the form of dances to songs--pop or otherwise--that mimetically act out the lyrics. A friend accompanied a group of young modern dance choreographers to see Merce last year. They barely knew who he was, and could see no value in his abstractions ("it was so cold," etc.). I don't
think this is better.
Now I'm a lover of abstraction, so I might not be the best judge, but it seems that the work of Elizabeth Streb, Sara Rudner, Siobhan Daives (in the UK), Trisha Brown, and of course Mark Morris use abstraction in a way that's completely accessable. But that's just me.