My Love of Contemporary Dance

April 3, 2014 — 57 Comments

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This style of dance incorporates several dance genres such as modern, jazz, lyrical and classical ballet. I love the structured nature of ballet and tap and enjoyed the classes that I took from pre-primary aged three until leaving school at 18, but I found contemporary dance more versatile due to it’s involvement of improvisation and techniques such as Graham and Horton. These techniques involved a focus of movements being driven by an inner energy. This enabled me to have more freedom of expression within my movement.

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Another subtle difference between ballet and contemporary is that you dance in bare feet.

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Routines could involve Floor work, fall and recovery, controlled legwork, which could be representing unpredictable changes in rhythm within the music.

For my AS lower sixth exam I had to devise a dance for myself…

Unfortunately this was the first time my Dad had used this video camera and as you can see from the ending he hadn’t quite got the hang of it 🙂

For my AQA A level dance exam the following year, we had a choice of artwork to act as an idea to create for your own dance troupe you were not to dance/perform in your own work. I had created a team of five fabulous dancers; Sam Costello, Frankie Gerrard, Emily Bowcock, Emma Morgan and my brother Tom (who has just this month passed his IDTA medal test with honours for his Charleston routine). The question I chose was a picture, a circus scene from the BBC children’s series Mr Benn.

I also had to dance to a set piece by the choreographer Christopher Bruce as part of my exam, here is a video of the dance :

Watching the dancers tonight at the Knutsford Academy Dance Festival bought all these happy memories back. I had a fabulous contemporary dance teacher in Mrs Lisa Scott, and for a short time Mrs Donna North, with lots of the dance students from my school going on to the best dance schools in the Country including PJ Hurst, Caitlin Fretwell-Walsh, Carl Harrison, Josh Scott (who was there to watch tonight and has had excellent news of a postgrad dance placement – well done Josh), Emma and David Lane to name just a few.

57 responses to My Love of Contemporary Dance

  1. 

    Charlotte,
    What a lovely insight into another aspect of Charlotte that I didn’t know existed! Was lovely to see.
    Kindest regards from NZ,
    Lizzi

  2. 

    good balance – it has an Asian, almost tai-chi feel. mixed with the energy of youth – nice job.

  3. 

    It’s cruel your performance was not captured by a professional. I really loved the smooth moves, especially around the mid of the video. It was almost magical. 🙂

    • 

      It makes me laugh though when my head just keeps popping into the picture and Dad missed the grand finale of me teetering on the edge of the stage on my tip toes! He gets carried away watching me on the stage instead of looking at the little screen lol.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  4. 

    I love how you interpreted the music. I love contemporary — lacking the rigid rules of ballroom — your dance felt beautifully spontaneous and natural. 😀

    • 

      Thank you Colleen, I just loved dance practical exams, I participated in several of my friends GCSE and AS pieces too it was always an exciting time of the year.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  5. 

    Fabulous…..you’re like a bird playing with the sun

  6. 

    Absolutely wonderful Charlotte!

  7. 

    Te felicito Amiga:Charlotte,realizas muy bien el ballet,ademàs del canto,sigue adelante……..y seràs una gran profesional en las artes.

    • 

      Ah I so wish I could speak Spanish Mireya, thank goodness for google translate 😉 I love ballet too for a long time I thought I would like to become a dancer.

      Gracias mi amiga,
      Charlotte

  8. 

    Impressive, I always have been amazed by how dancer remembering movements through out the song. Beyond my memory capacity 🙂

    • 

      I’m a visual learner so picking up different dances, karate kata moves, or even swimming strokes weren’t a problem for me now remembering the correct mathematical formulas had to be drawn into diagrams that the teacher actually put on his wall for other visual learners 😉

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  9. 

    I have the same sentiments as Lizzy. Like a precious jewel you have many facets when it comes to talent and artistry. The dance movement will serve you well with Opera, helping you move about the stage gracefully as you interpret the music. So full of surprises you are!

  10. 

    Good show. Very impressive. Personally I am a fan of the tango and the flamenco. And I love the film “The Red Shoes”.

    • 

      I love the flamenco too; I took my silver IDTA medals in Tango and the Paso Doble but even though I learnt the routines for my gold medal test I had to pull out with a broken foot 😦 and never got the chance to take them. I also love ‘The Red Shoes’ that’s one of the only problems when you dance a lot it takes it out on your feet.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  11. 

    My O My. What a brilliant display. You have all the prerequisites for a Grand Opera career. You GO GIRL.

  12. 

    That’s great! I recognized Steve Reich/Pat Metheny but didn’t catch the rest. The end part was so familiar but… What music was used?

    • 

      My Dad spliced the tracks together for me from my dance teachers IPOD I’ve racked my memory and I can’t recall the music but I’ll ask Lisa Scott and if she remembers i will get back to you.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  13. 

    amaziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing! I love contemporary dance, but, yes as you might think, I have no idea how to dance, hehehe… :0)

    • 

      There’s a dance style for everyone De, my brother’s friend from Singapore, Marc, took up ballroom dancing at Uni and everyone can do a bit of Salsa 😉

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  14. 
    Son of Sharecroppers April 4, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Wow. You continue to unveil additional talents!

    • 

      I found out the other day there was a famous woman called Esther Williams who swam and acted in movies, well if they ever do a modern remake of a singing, acting, swimmer I’m their girl lol. I don’t ride horses though my blog friend Stephanie could stand in for me 🙂

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  15. 

    amazing……….its beautiful…………..

  16. 

    Talented little wotsit, aren’t you? 🙂

  17. 

    If you don’t get your own way, you can prove you are more than capable of putting on a song and dance act! 🙂
    That was an impressive display, indeed.

  18. 

    So – there truly IS NO end to your talent. What a wonderful life you have ahead of you.

  19. 

    I am amazed. You are an artist in many forms.
    This is like so different from your singing and yet again so beautiful to feast my eyes on.
    You have many talents. like a diamond has many facets. shine on.
    Keep on smiling.

    • 

      As each year has gone by I had to drop some of my favourite hobbies and interests to concentrate on a narrower art choice because you can’t get by as a ‘Jack of all trades’ the music training is so intensive now. I will keep on smiling, I was a bit grumpy in some of my dance, I can do moody momentarily 🙂

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  20. 

    I think dancing is the best exercise for everyone, bar none. How great that you have incorporated it into your repertoire as a performing artist. Brava!

    • 

      When I was dancing regularly Beth I could eat like a horse and not put any weight on, I was so fit that I miss that level of exercise now. I so wanted to do a ballet module this year but it was cancelled and although there is one to apply for next year I’m not sure that after a two year gap I’d be able to get up to the exacting standard that ballet teachers expect on my own.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  21. 

    I loved the contrast between the very swift movements with sharp lines and the languid and beautiful pause moments. This took me back to my twenties. I did some serious Contemporary Dance at The Place in London and Goldsmith’s College combining Sculpture and Dancers. Thank you for the trip down Memory Lane.

    • 

      Gosh Hilary when we meet I’d love to know all about this, a couple of my friends from dance schools went on to The Place and I believe my lovely friend Sam Costello from my Mr Benn team has been offered a place to start this year, not sure if that will be his selection yet or not. Yesterday as I’m home I went to Northwich Dance School with my parents and brother and for the first time learnt three new sequence dances, the sweetheart waltz, the saunter together and the midnight jive, next week I’m hoping to learn sequence routines to a tango, quickstep and rumba it was fabulous, I think some of these sequence dance lessons should be compulsory in High School to get more boys/girls dancing in couples . In Scotland the boys dance in Ceilidh country dances which makes parties much more social and fun.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  22. 

    Amazing how multi-talented you are. Lovely dance, Charlotte.

  23. 

    Are you certain your dad wasn’t mimicking music videos with their penchant for closeups?

    But, on a serious note, I very much enjoyed your dance. Among other things it showed the depths of your talents have yet to be plumbed.

  24. 

    I still dance to CCR, but not as long or as fast as I used to.

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