The name "Contemporary Dance" describes a range of techniques and styles used in classes, workshops and dance choreography. Contemporary dance was developed in the early 20th century as a reaction against the rigid techniques of ballet.
Contemporary dance is characterised by its versatility: contemporary can be danced to almost any style of music, or united with other dance forms to create new styles of movement. Contemporary 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 technique allows experienced dancers to push new boundaries of body movement.
" The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. "
Contemporary Dance techniques
The four main techniques used in contemporary dance are:1)Cunningham , focusing on the architecture of the body in space, rhythm and articulation.)
Cunningham uses the idea of the body's own "line of energy" to promote easy, natural movement. Richard Alston uses Cunningham technique in his graceful choreography.2)Graham - focusing on the use of contraction, release, fall and recovery.
Graham technique is characterised by floorwork and the use of abdominal and pelvic contractions. The style is very grounded and the technique visibly contrary to the sylphlike, airborne ideals of ballet.3)Limon - exploring use of energy in relation to gravity and working with weight in terms of fall, rebound, recovery and suspension.
Limon technique uses the feeling of weight and "heavy energy" in the body, and movement is instigated using breath to lift, and swings through the body to create
and halt movement. It also feels very nice to perform!