We are never more truly and profoundly more human than when we dance – Jose Limon
Contemporary is another word for “modern” or “current”. If something is contemporary, it belongs in the here and now, the current time period. Contemporary dance is therefore always changing with the times and developing, and takes its inspiration from many different modern forms of dance. It can be danced to almost any style of music, and it can be mixed up with other dance forms such as streetdance, ballet, Jazz dance, African and Asian dance, and other forms of exercise such as martial arts and yoga, to create new dance moves. Contemporary dancers strive to connect the mind and the body through fluid movement that derives from the centre of the body and provides the student with the confidence to explore dance in all its forms.
It was developed in the early 20th century as a reaction against the set rules and techniques of ballet, although now combining contemporary dance and ballet training is well accepted as good grounding for a student of dance. Practicing contemporary dance involves learning a range of techniques and styles which are used in dance classes, dance workshops and dance choreography, allowing the student to explore their own physical movement voice.
“If I could tell you that, I wouldn’t have to dance it”.
Isadora Duncan – When asked what one of her dances meant.
Pioneering contemporary dancers such as Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham looked for less rigid ways of moving the body, using the body’s natural lines and energy, which allows contemporary dancers a much greater range of movement. Contemporary dance is used regularly in pop videos, for example ‘Chandelier’, featuring haunting choreography masterminded by Sia and Ryan Heffington, and performed by 11-year-old Maddie Ziegler from the reality show, Dance Moms. Because contemporary works much more with the way your body naturally moves, you don’t need to have lots of training to be able to take part in it. It is a safe and accessible dance form for beginners as well as a very creative form of dance for experienced dancers and choreographers.
What can contemporary dance do for your body? If you practice contemporary dance regularly, you will develop a lean, strong body. Your posture, balance and coordination will also improve significantly and you are likely to feel more at ease with your body, and move with increased confidence. Contemporary dance offers a fluid “body friendly” method of movement, embracing balance, alignment and the extensive use of the whole body across the space. harnessing music, rhythm and the dynamic use of sequences. Contemporary dance is invaluable in developing movement, confidence and creativity in the dancers early years of training.
What is the definition of skeletal alignment in dance? Graceful posture is the key to beautiful dance movements. Proper skeletal alignment allows the dancer to move freely and lessens the risk of injury. Poor skeletal alignment puts excess strain on muscles and joints, while proper skeletal alignment helps to strengthen the dancer’s muscles allowing them to move confidently with less effort and strain.
theschool’s contemporary dance classes have been developed with a focus on improving the dance technical training of the young student; a movement style, that focuses on alignment, strength and transitional phrasing through skeletal exploration. Classes can be described as highly physical, technical and fun. The class focuses on the body as a whole in motion, with emphasis on building a strong technique through focused skeletal alignment.
The objective of the class is to prepare and train the young dancer to move confidently through space whilst playfully giving into gravity and rising up against it, with an emphasis on a strong dynamic technique with little effort. theschool believes that a young dancer will improve technically and grow artistically when given the freedom to express their unique creative individuality through movement.
Contemporary Dance taught at theschool.