Contemporary dance is a genre of dance that has been around ever since the mid-twentieth century. Ever since then, the art of contemporary dance has become very popular becoming one of the main dance genres that professional dancers around the world use. You will find that contemporary dance is particularly popular among people in the US and in Europe as seen in the many contemporary dance classes being offered.
In the first stages when the dance genre was developed, it made use of elements from classic, jazz, and modern dance. Today, contemporary dance incorporates elements from a number of different dance styles and genres. Both modern and contemporary dance are often mistaken for each other due to how similar they are in form and technique. In addition contemporary dance features a lot of elements from ballet.
The movements and technique of contemporary dance is mostly a combination of ballet’s strong but controlled leg movements along with the upper body movements from modern dance. You can also find the improvisation, fall and recovery, and foot movements of modern dance in contemporary movements and techniques. It is normal to have unpredictable changes in speed, rhythm, and direction when it comes to contemporary dance. It is even said that elements from non-western dance genres can be found in contemporary dance like that from certain African dances and the Japanese dance known as Butoh.
The way contemporary dance is performed or presented is through an interpretation or to tell a story. The choice whether the performance will be a narration or an abstract performance lies in the decision of the choreographer. It is then up to him to creatively put together different movements and techniques so as to be able to come up with the desired performance which will be taught to the contemporary dance class. The movements and techniques being used are also dependent on the music and sound that is going to be used during the performance.
The way music is being used in contemporary dance is also different compared to other genres of dance. Where styles like hip hop really make sure to keep up with the beat of the music, contemporary dancers use the music as a backdrop to the entire performance. Its role may not be as big as how music is used in other dances, but without it, the contemporary dance may also feel stale and lacking.
One of the reasons why contemporary dance has grown in popularity is because it has become a medium for relaxation and self-expression. People who enroll in a contemporary dance class are looking to detach themselves from the stress of work and reconnect with one self. Due to how beautiful and artistic the moves of contemporary dance are, people are able to utilize it much like yoga. The alertness and focus needed to be a contemporary dancer really helps improve and stimulate the mental health of the dancers. The moves can also be quite relaxing and in the process, you are getting a good workout.