There is a lot of confusion when you are asking about the contemporary dance as a lot of people even the dancers don’t know what the actual dance form is. Actually, the dance form changes from time to time so it is not easy to adapt as you have to change with time. Every now and then there are new experiments and discoveries in the field of contemporary dance. A lot of people and schools are there who claim to have expertise on the contemporary dance but they usually teach other forms of dance like ballroom, salsa or some jazz styles. So it is not about the dancing style but shape you’re in while your movement in dancing which indicates a proper technique of contemporary dance.
So in the training, the focus must be on the positions and shape rather than the styles while attending the classes to learn the contemporary style of dancing. Every lesson will surprise you as it will be very different from the previously taken lesson. These dancing classes are very good for the preparation of a huge range of movements possible in a student like dynamics, various forms, and the qualities. That is the only reason contemporary dancers are seen assisting different kinds of training for the body and mind of a dancer like martial arts, ballet, etc. Now, there are some patterns which are used commonly in our community while teaching contemporary dance. Though the dancing movements change from time to time but some particular forms of mind and body are needed to learn it. The two types of contemporary dance are Relaxation and Freedom.
We are going to talk about the “Relaxation” first. The major difference which draws a line between contemporary dance and other dance techniques is the relaxed movement which you can see only in contemporary dance. It has different names in different places, some call it “Release Technique”. The dancing is very different from a gym workout as it can be done in a very relaxed way and keeps you away from unnecessary tension. The execution of movement is very essential while performing a contemporary dance as it enhances the self-awareness of the dancer. The dancing form allows the freedom of the well being of a dancer rather than just some physical training exercises which help to improve a dancer in both mind and body. Professional dancers love this technique a lot as it is very pleasant to work with.
Another technique can be named here which is the Body Mind Centering (BMC) technique by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. In this technique, the main thing to learn about and which will help you in dancing is Indian Yoga. Yoga is now being a lot popular among the countries of the western world. It is a very basic part of this technique which needs mental control, body alignment, and relaxation.
Now we will talk about “Freedom”. This style teaches a lot of things like conducting our minds, breath properly, adequate use of tension while dancing. It liberates a dancer from the hard painful and exhausting work. You can improvise a lot in this dance form and it needs physical skills too along with mental. This form helps to merge with a partner more and give his thoughts importance and improvise according to it. The word ‘antitechnique’ is popular as the explanation of this form as the techniques used are very much different to the popular and classical dancing techniques. There is another technique created by David Zambrano named ‘Flying Low’. It is very refreshing and releases a lot of pressure and tension out of you while dancing.
Contemporary dancers are not only dancers who dance for their inner joy but they do like to see the audience clapping while their performance and want to keep a long lasting effect on them. So for this, they have to enhance their techniques and this can be done easily by concentrating on Ballet which is regarded by some people as a contemporary dance form. So the dancers practice ballet a lot to be perfect in their dance presentation. Chinese Tai Chi Chuan impact can be seen in some dances too. Some of the great techniques are Merce Cunningham’s technique, Martha Graham’s technique, and Lester Horton’s technique. Contemporary dance forms and its changes and techniques are endless and it will showcase new features from time to time.