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Contemporary Dance Vocabulary          This section will introduce some basic contemporary positions and          exercise...
Parallel       Parallel position could be considered       contemporary’s first position. Most       contemporary exercise...
Demi Pointe              In most dance forms, the feet should              be as expressive and mobile as the             ...
Contraction       Made popular by Martha Graham       and subsequently found in Graham       technique, contractions focus...
Release          The release from a contraction can be          seen naturally in the back or in a          ‘high release’...
Roll Down            Another exercise for the spine, this            involves engaging the stomach            muscles and ...
Circular SpringAn exercise used in jumps and totravel across the space, this involvesboth legs, equally.The supporting leg...
Jumps  As with ballet, all jumps should start with a  demi plie to soften the support.  Jumps in contemporary can take a n...
Supports and Counter Balances       Contemporary dance tries to give each dancer       equality, so lifts often turn into ...
Well done!             You are now ready for the            contemporary section of the quiz.            You can also proc...
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Contemporary Vocabulary

Applicable to Units 45 and 46 of your BTEC. This time, the focus is on contemporary dance and some basic exercises you are expected to know by the end of your 2 years study.

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Contemporary Vocabulary

  1. 1. Contemporary Dance Vocabulary This section will introduce some basic contemporary positions and exercises. Pictures show the movement and the written explanations aim to help you find a way to commit the practical action to memory. Some of you may recognise yourselves, and equally the photos may or may not always be the best way to do a movement but merely to help you remember movements you may have done. As you may already know, contemporary draws from many different sources and so movements may not always have the same name. Use the arrows to move between exercises and home if you wish to change styles from ballet to contemporary or move on to the test. The help button will remind you how to get back to the home menu and what the page you are on is for. Enjoy!Home
  2. 2. Parallel Parallel position could be considered contemporary’s first position. Most contemporary exercises are conducted either in parallel or turnout (ballet positions of 1st and 2nd favoured). Often heard in class, feet should be hip- width apart, legs straight and knees soft to avoid stress. This is the standing parallel. A True parallel should be under your hips and can be achieved by making fists on either hands and placing in the gap between your feet. Important in parallel is to ensure that toes and heels stay in a straight line – not in pronation (ankles rolling in) or supinationHome (ankles rolling out).
  3. 3. Demi Pointe In most dance forms, the feet should be as expressive and mobile as the hands. A common contemporary exercise involves taking the foot from flat, to demi pointed, to off the floor and placed back down again. When this is done, the foot needs to stay in its parallel alignment and pressure should be placed onto the ball of the foot in order to push the ground away.Home
  4. 4. Contraction Made popular by Martha Graham and subsequently found in Graham technique, contractions focus on the mobility of the torso. It can be taken standing or sitting. The first picture shows the start of a contraction, back straight and ready to initiate with the pelvis and abdomen. The next picture shows a contraction with head down – you can keep the head up to show the torso at its fullest. These movements should take place with the sitz bone staying on the floor and mimics what happens when you laugh or cry.Home
  5. 5. Release The release from a contraction can be seen naturally in the back or in a ‘high release’. As the body recovers from a contraction, the release straightens the back and takes the body to its starting position. In the high release, similar to a back bend in ballet, the neck should be ready to show off its sparkling diamond, as Lynn Seymour used to say. It is important to mobilise the upper sections of the back; cervical and thoracic. Where is the focus for this dancer? Why do you think this is?Home
  6. 6. Roll Down Another exercise for the spine, this involves engaging the stomach muscles and trying to visualise each vertebrae moving one at a time. To start, take a breath in and as you breathe out, the chin should come to chest. The roll down should be taken as far as possible on straight legs unless there is a previous knee injury. Once at your maximum point, take care to roll back the same way. This can be done against a wall to ensure the pelvis and rear don’t sway away.Home
  7. 7. Circular SpringAn exercise used in jumps and totravel across the space, this involvesboth legs, equally.The supporting leg has to anchor infondu, whilst the working leg canchange direction of the dancer orfully lengthen to provide contrast.The arms tend to mimic themovement to again help with fullyrealising the movement potential.Home
  8. 8. Jumps As with ballet, all jumps should start with a demi plie to soften the support. Jumps in contemporary can take a number of forms, from hops that are about elevation to focussing on travelling across the space. Depending on the teacher, jumps can be taken from other styles such as ballet, jazz and capoeira. Whatever jump you choose to do, remember the side of your body that isn’t moving. For example, in both photos, the dancers are pointing both feet.Home
  9. 9. Supports and Counter Balances Contemporary dance tries to give each dancer equality, so lifts often turn into supports, with an equal sharing of weight. You can even find women lifting men, or same sexes lifting. Here you can see the dancers prepare with demi plies and by ensuring they both have equal weight in theHome hips.
  10. 10. Well done! You are now ready for the contemporary section of the quiz. You can also proceed to upload your own contemporary photos, of these movements, or other movements you have studied in class.Home

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  • mhavieevangelista

    Jun. 18, 2017
  • AngeloAngelo38

    Sep. 24, 2020
  • JellieMaeToring1

    Apr. 20, 2021

Applicable to Units 45 and 46 of your BTEC. This time, the focus is on contemporary dance and some basic exercises you are expected to know by the end of your 2 years study.

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