CONTEMPORARY DANCE DEFINED…
• The name “contemporary dance” describes a
range of techniques and styles used in classes,
workshops and dance choreography.
• It was developed in the early 20th century as a
recreation against the rigid techniques of ballet.
• Pioneers such as Isadora Duncan and Martha
Graham searched for ease of movement using
the body’s natural lines and energy, allowing a
greater range and fluidity of movement than
typical and traditional dance techniques.
• Contemporary dance is characterized by its
versatility: it can be danced to almost any
style of music, or united with other dance
forms to create new styles of movement.
• Contemporary dancing seeks to work with
the natural alignment of the body, and is
therefore safe and accessible for beginners.
• At the same time, the ease of movement
promoted by contemporary dance
techniques allows experienced dancers to
push new boundaries of body movement.
• It is a dance that is made in, influenced
by, or presented in our current world
• This is a flexible way of identifying the
field that allows for an increasing range
of contemporary practices in dance,
and allows dance artists the freedom to
self-identify their work rather than
being categorized inappropriately.
• Contemporary dance makes a statement
about the world around us.
• It can offer an artistic perspective on the
human condition in bold and courageous,
or subtle and ambiguous ways.
• It is a non-story dance, which means it is
open to interpretation.
• It is fresh, inspiring and risk-taking.
• The primary creative tools of contemporary
dance are the Body, Time and Space.
HISTORY OF CONTEMPORARY DANCES
• In European culture, one of the earliest records of
dancing is by homer, whose “Iliad” describes CHOREA
• The art of dancing into a system that is expressive of all
the different passions.
• The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, ranked dancing with
poetry, and said that certain dancers, with rhythm
applied to gesture, could express manners, passions,
• The most eminent Greek sculptors studied the attitude
of the dancers for their art of imitating the passions.