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What is contemporary dance? Beginner to contemporary Dance

contemporary-dancer image

What is contemporary dance? 

Contemporary is an important dance performed in societies around the world and celebrated by both young and old. Developed in the 20th century, Contemporary Dance incorporates aspects of the movement from several other genres, including jazz, modern, and ballet. Although contemporary dance is a popular sport in the world, it is most common in the United States and European countries.

Key features of contemporary dance

Unlike traditional forms of dance, modernity is considered much untied because of its rigidity and rules. Dancers of this genre have the opportunity to change their performance based on their own interpretation. This is achieved by honing certain techniques, such as focusing on powerful ball movements that affect the feet, falling and recovering, the floor, and other improvising elements. Most often, contemporary dance is practiced with bare feet to keep the movements and connection to the dance surface smooth.

One of the most important features of contemporary dance is improvisation. While some forms of dance, such as ballet, can be quite rigid and structured, Contemporary dance is based on fluidity and improvisational movements to evoke different emotions in the viewer. It also offers the dancer the ultimate creative freedom to perform an emotional song that recognizes them.

Contemporary Dance is incredibly interpretive and has many applications. While traditional dance performances are still popular, contemporary dance has often been used in art, theater, music videos, movies, and more. The versatility of the genre allows the dancer to use the influence of story and music to form characters and complement theatrical performances that differ from more traditional methods of storytelling.

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When did contemporary dance start and who created it?

While we cannot say that contemporary dance would be started by any single person, there were several key pioneers in this movement. As mentioned earlier, modern dance was really born in the 20th century. In the past, theater dance performances were mostly limited to ballet, which was popular in Europe and the United States at the time. This gradually began to change, and during that time the dancers began to abandon the methods of traditional ballet.

Undoubtedly the most prolific assistant, Merce Cunningham is an American choreographer and dancer who was at the forefront of American modern dance for more than half a century in the 20th century.

His early choreography crossed the boundaries of modern dance and tried to close the gap between music and dance. Over the years, his technique was developed to be called the Cunningham technique, which was used specifically to train his dancers. This sophisticated technique brought together several key elements of contemporary dance, such as changes in the coordination of body and footwork, changes in position awareness, rhythmic accuracy, and changes in speed and direction.

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Can you teach yourself contemporary dance?

If you want to learn contemporary dance at home, you can help with a huge amount of online content such as performances, tutorials, and video guides.

However, to learn the right form and technique, you need to join a reputable local dance class or dance studio that teaches contemporary dance. This way you can be sure that you will receive professional training and feedback on your dance. Getting a trained instructor will also help unlock your other opportunities according to your abilities, such as qualifications, certifications, competition, and performance opportunities.

Whether you are learning contemporary dance at home or getting a more formal education, it is important that you warm up properly and have the right equipment.

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