- Contemporary Dance Isn’t All That Contemporary
At the beginnings of the 20th century, the American dancer Isadora Duncan (1878-1927) wanted to develop a more fluid method of dancing. For this reason, he left the codified school of ballet in favour of developing a more fluid method of dancing.
Contemporary dance combines the strict legwork of ballet with the torso and floorwork of modern dance. It characterizes with impulsive changes in rhythm, speed and direction.
There are many styles within the genre. Today’s contemporary dance is closely linked to the musicality of rock and roll, hip hop, electro and jazz.
- Contemporary Dance Does Not Insist That Sound and Movement Must Be in Sync
Merce Cunningham was responsible for leading contemporary dance’s break away from ballet and modern. She led the process of purifying the avant-garde technique but also instated an ideology of constant innovation. contemporary dance does not mark a period in time. Instead, it evolves to remain contemporary to the times.
- If I Could Tell You What It Meant, Then There Would Be No Point in Dancing It
By embracing technology, visual art and experimenting with different types of sound rather than just music, taking into thought the impact of silence as well, Cunningham expanded the frontiers of contemporary art. Cunningham collaborated with innovative composer John Cage. They both thought that dance and music worked best together when they collided involuntarily, and sometimes, not all.
- Contemporary Dance recognizes the decisiveness of choreography as well as leaving things to chance
Cunningham presented his work ‘Nearly Ninety’ to Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2009 at the age of 90. This was a legacy-defining piece, after 70 years in business. The choreography of this piece consisted mainly of solos, duets and trios, where dancers would often meet but never face each other.
- Contemporary Dance is an ideology as much as a style
Contemporary dance has been much influenced by eastern philosophies, applying ideas and values derived from Zen Buddhism and Indian Hatha Yoga to contemporary dance.