What is contemporary dance?

What Does contemporary dance Mean

Before entering fully into the definition of the term contemporary dance, it is necessary to proceed to discover the etymological origin of the two words that shape it:

-Dance, first of all, comes from French. Specifically, it emanates from “danser”, which can be translated as “dance”.

- Contemporary, secondly, it derives from Latin, more precisely from "contemporaneus", which is the result of the sum of three well-defined components: the prefix "with", which is synonymous with "together"; the noun “tempus”, which means “time”, and the suffix “-aneo”, which is used to indicate relationship or belonging.

The act of dancing is called dance , which can take place in multiple ways. The contemporary , on the other hand, is that which is part of the time in which we live.
The idea of contemporary dance , in this framework, refers to a style of classical ballet that gives the dancer greater freedom. This form of dance emerged at the end of the 19th century as a reaction to the more rigid characteristics of classicism.

In contemporary dance, the dancer expresses himself through classical ballet techniques but incorporating other more modern body movements. That is why this style is known as contemporary dance or modern dance .
The mixture of multiple influences is one of the main characteristics of contemporary dance, which can include forms of narration that are not linear and can even bet on multimedia tools to complement the choreographies.
Whereas classical dance is based on structured and already codified steps, contemporary dance leaves room for innovation and allows the dancer and choreographer to exploit their creativity . Transgression, in this sense, is considered a positive value, unlike what happens in classical ballet.
Specialists distinguish between the American school and the European school of contemporary dance. In turn they mark the existence of different generations that were modifying the precepts.
The American choreographer and dancer Isadora Duncan , born in 1877 and died in 1927 , is often referred to as the founder of contemporary dance. Self-taught, he moved away from classical ballet by incorporating movements linked to expressionism.
However, we cannot ignore that, in addition to Duncan, there are other figures at the international level who also left their mark on contemporary dance and who contributed to endow it with the characteristics it possesses.
We are referring, for example, to such figures as the choreographer and dancer Doris Humphrey (1895 - 1958) or Martha Graham (1894 - 1991). The latter, who was also a dancer and choreographer, is considered to have left as important a mark in contemporary dance as Stravinsky did in music or Pablo Picasso from Malaga in the visual arts.

However, other names could be added to these women, such as the teacher and dancer José Limón, the producer and dancer Marie Louise Fuller, the choreographer and dancer Paul Taylor, the dancer and choreographer Kurt Jooss or Vera Skonel, among many others.

Go up