The Spotters Guide To: Contemporary Dance

We will soon be welcoming Flash Mob; where a whole host of dance styles will burst onto the stage in a blaze of colour and light. To prepare we have compiled a guidebook of dance styles just for you! The Dance Ambassador Champions have taken it upon ourselves to wade through the undergrowth of dance genres, set up camp and speak only in hushed tones we mimicked from Bill Oddie. Armed with notebook, foldable desk and a paraffin lamp our champions observed dance styles in their natural habitat; origins, costumes and key members of the pack you may recognise. This is our Spotters Guide to Dance

Our third voyager into the deepest depths of dance is Danielle Pollitt- Walmsley, who introduces us to contemporary dance.

Background and Origins
All you need is passion
Contemporary dance… there are many stereo types within dance and contemporary is no exception to the rule; but what do you really need to be a contemporary dancer and what does it involve?
Dance can be an expensive hobby with all the clothes and shoes but for contemporary dance all you need is a passion then you can begin. In contemporary dance there is a very wide range of styles. It originated in the early 20th century in America and formed as a reaction to the rigid technique of classical ballet, giving dancers more freedom to explore their dance.

Styles and Key Movement
I train on the Lowry CAT scheme (Centre for advanced training in dance) and we study the Cunningham technique that involves lots of creative freedom and the change for the audience to interpret the performance themselves with no set storyline to portray, however each company has a slightly different style and influences that impact upon the style of movement.
Within this style of dance you can never be wrong and you just need to feel all the moves coming from within. Therefore many dancers begin choreography by improvising with their eyes closed which is a method I personally feel is important as you don’t think about people watching or what the move looks like but rather the feeling and impulse that is creating the move.
Famous styles


Danielle Blog image 1
Cunningham– promoting easy movement, it uses a Chinese idea of casting your fortune on a hexagram that is portrayed in dance as using a chance series of movements it focuses on the architecture of the body in the space.
Graham– focuses on the idea of contraction, it is very grounded and uses some fall and release and recover
Limon– Uses the weight of the body and the affect of gravity
Watch out for Alleviate the amazing contemporary duo who are fiery and strong but breath-taking, after their performance in Got To Dance they are now appearing in Flashmob!

Alleviate in blue Flash MobDSC_6693


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