Contemporary Dance

By:Ashlee Zlotnick


 Contemporary is a style of dance which came around in the 20th century. It was an outgrowth of the modern dance form as well as other dance techniques. It is difficult to define this unique dance form as it is a very fluid and nebulous style of dance. Contemporary is not associated with a specific dance technique such as ballroom or ballet. It takes on not a technique but a dance philosophy. With contemporary people try to explore the natural energy and emotions one may have which causes they to produce dances which is often very personal and emotional. Some of these amazing choreographers include: Martha Graham, Christopher Bruce, Merce Cunningham, Isadora Duncan, Trisha Brown and many more. New contemporary stars are always rising in this field if dance. Contemporary dancers can come from any training background. This can range from classical ballet to breakdancing. One will integrate bodywork techniques such as yoga and pilates into their dance as well as systems like the Alexander Method. The main thing that makes contemporary different from all other dance forms is the fact that these dances place huge emphasis on the connection between the mind and body and worry less about the technique. They are encouraged to explore their emotions through dance which pushes the traditional boundaries. This style of dance often involves playing with their balance, floorwork, fall and recovery and improvisation. When one is learning contemporary, you will learn how to use your body in various ways, how to focus on your breathing, posture and emotional state to establish a mind-body connection. Mostly they would be taught a choreographed piece of work but sometimes they are encouraged to improvise their own dance piece. A typical contemporary dance composition may take the form of: a personal situation, an allegory, and a commentary on society or an integration of cultures. It will feature a wide variety of techniques which once again proves that contemporary is versatile. Contemporary is a form of dance that is offered all around the world. You do not have to go to a dance school or studio to learn contemporary, it is occasionally offered in health clubs, through colleges and universities.

 Contemporary history: Contemporary has been around since the 1900’s. Both ballet and modern dance are “ancestors” of contemporary dance. Ballet creates the general concert dance frame work and technical knowledge where as modern is its anti-reference. According to my sources they are not sure who started this dance form and how it came about but one day a dancer, around the 1950’s, decided to mix the techniques of ballet and modern together and form what is known today as contemporary dance.


1 Comment »

  1. cevon Said:

    I never thought of it that way, well put!

{ RSS feed for comments on this post} · { TrackBack URI }

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: