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Contemporary dance

From Academic Kids

Contemporary dance is the name given to a group of 20th century concert dance forms.

Angie Smalis, contemporary dancer  cc-by Ohka-
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Angie Smalis, contemporary dancer cc-by Ohka-

Rather than a specific dance technique contemporary dance is a collection of systems and methodologies developed from Modern and Postmodern dance. The development of contemporary dance was parallel but separate to New dance in Britain but distictions can be made between European and American Contemporary dance.

Contents

History

Seminal artists

Notable artists in the field of contemporary dance include:

  • - American postmodern "pioneers" and others in the early 1960s-70s who were busily deconstructing/reconstructing dance conventions and developing radical new approaches to movement, choreography, questions of what it is to dance and who =can be a dancer: such as Trisha Brown, David Gordon, Lucinda Childs, Yvonne Rainer, James waring, Kenneth King; Deborah Hay (movement studies, dance scripts, communal dance forms); Steve Paxton (Contact Improvisation); Merce Cunningham (chance procedures and engagement with new technologies); Anna Halprin (working with site-specific/environmental ritual/therapeutic communal forms)

Form

Contemporary dance (due to its Postmodern lineage) take on many forms including:

  • contemporary dance -
  • dance fusion -
  • emergent dance -
  • revisionism -

Technique

Rather than emphasising technique per se, which is seen more as a tool for the dancer and a means by which to strengthen the body, increase flexibility, and through a deliberate exposure of the contemporary dancer to a wide range of techniques to ensure versatility, contemporary dance as a field is more concerned with examining the choreographic and performing process: as a result there has been limited development of dance techniques by seminal dance artists. Instead, contemporary dance draws on modern dance techniques (developed in the first 60 years of the 20th century) and an array of still developing philosophies of movement based on study of the human body and body/mind interralationships, including:

  • Cunningham technique
  • Graham technique
  • Hawkins technique
  • Laban movement studies
  • Lester Horton Technique
  • Humphrey/Limn technique
  • Contact Improvisation

-

  • Alexander Technique
  • Body-Mind Centering
  • Feldenkrais
  • Kinesiology
  • Pilates
  • ReleaseTechnique
  • Skinner Releasing Technique
  • Somatic Movement Studies
  • Movement ecology

See also

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