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