Focus on contemporary dance

Dance is a succession of figures or rhythmic steps in harmony with the sound of music. It is also a set of artistic techniques that govern the rhythmic movements of the body. A well-known category of dance is contemporary dance, which we will discuss in this article.

What is contemporary dance?

Let's start by understanding the term "contemporary". It is an adjective that designates, on the one hand, a set of things that belong to the same era as a thing or someone. On the other hand, the word contemporary refers to what exists at the present time, when it is mentioned. We are still talking about the present time.

Contemporary dance is therefore presented as an art form that belongs to our time. Its beginnings are generally located in the aftermath of the Second World War. It was inspired in particular by classical dance. But with time, it has become sufficiently different from it to seem original and unique today.

Origin of contemporary dance

Contemporary dance was born in the 20th century in Europe and in the United States, also in France. Two important figures, the American choreographers Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown, are at the origin of it, notably in the 1960s. They opposed the concept of contemporary dance to classical dance, but adopted its philosophy. Continued by their students, their work led to the development in 1970 of what was called the "New French Dance".

At the origin of this development was Alwin Nicolais. On the other hand, in Germany, the "dance-theater" was born under the aegis of a certain Pina Bausch. Her company Tanztheater was later recognized as a reference in contemporary dance.

It is generally accepted that this dance was born from the desire of its pioneers to distinguish themselves from past generations. Contemporary dance is not precisely limited in time and can only be identified through its great names. Among these, we can mention Carolyn Carlson, Philippe Decouflé, Joëlle Bouvier and Régis Bouvier.