Contemporary Dance

What is Contemporary Dance? Textbook definitions of contemporary dance refer to a collection of dance forms and methods which draw on 20th century western concert dance, including ballet, modern and post‐modern dance. Here at MiBC we prefer to broaden the definition to include newly created and performed dance from all traditions, that speaks to the present time.

What is Contemporary Dance?

Dance that is made in, influenced by, or presented in our current world context. This is a flexible way of identifying the field, that allows for an increasing range of contemporary practices in dance, and allows dance artists the freedom to self-identify their work rather than being categorized inappropriately.

Contemporary dance refers to a historical development in dance.

It supports an aesthetic separation of ‘free dance’ from ‘traditional ballet,’ a separation that occurred in Europe and North America in the early twentieth century. Called modern dance, and contemporary dance, this is the history of dance of substantial interest to dance scholars.

Contemporary dance makes a statement about the world around us.

It can be both beautiful and challenging, and can offer an artistic perspective on the human condition in bold and courageous, or subtle and ambiguous ways.

Contemporary dance often invites a level of audience engagement different from other forms of art; people are asked to apply their ideas, imagination, and creativity to the performance to fully benefit.

The primary creative tools of contemporary dance are the body, time and space.

Contemporary dance is an art form that encourages us to see the world in a different light.

Contemporary dance is a ground-breaking art form that reveals to us new ways of seeing ourselves and our society. It takes risks, challenges our familiar ways of thinking and seeing, and brings our attention to new ways of noticing the world around us. It puts life under new lenses, exploring new sides and exposing changes taking place around us. At the cutting-edge of art, contemporary dance experiments with challenging and playfully disorienting audiences, to get us to think outside the box. In the modern world, we are familiar with processing abstract information and absorbing a variety of non-literal signs, through the internet, music videos and even video games. Contemporary dance offers us more ways of operating, thinking and engaging in our lives. It encourages us to see the big picture while still noticing the detail. In today’s world, having this ability is a hugely significant advantage. Contemporary dance is a form of twentieth century theatre dance. It is non-story dance, which means it is open to interpretation. It’s fresh, stimulating and risk-taking.

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