Contemporary Ballet

Topics: Ballet, Dance, New York City Ballet Pages: 3 (853 words) Published: November 17, 2010
Contemporary Ballet

Ballet is a formalized kind of performance dance which originated in the Italian Renaissance Courts of the 15th century and further developed in France, England, and Russia as a concert dance form. One of the genres of ballet is Contemporary. It is defined as a form of dance that is influenced by both classical ballet, modern dance, lyrical, and jazz (Wikipedia). It takes its technique and is used of point work from classical ballet, although it permits a greater range of movement that may not adhere to the strict body lines set forth by schools of ballet techniques. Many of its concepts come from the ideas and innovations of the 20th century modern dance; including floor work and turn-in and out of the legs.

George Balanchine is often considerate to have been the first pioneer of the Contemporary Ballet. He used flexed hands and feet, turn-in legs, off centered positions, and non classical costumes; such as leotards, unitards, and/or tunics. One dancer who trained with Balanchine was Mekhair Baryshnikov. He was an artistic director of the American Ballet Theater. In 1980 he began working with various modern choreographers.

One of the most significant differences between Contemporary and Classical Ballet, is the way the body moves. Classical is very structured with emphasis on lifting up, poise, and dramatics storytelling through fictional fables (Wiki Answers). Contemporary Ballet developed as a breakdown from the origins of Classical with the concept of being free and more earth bound. Although there are several forms of Contemporary that are quite structured, some believe that the story line is inspired by the movement. It is meant to express its feelings and emotions with rhythm.

Although Contemporary and Classical have some differences, they also have some similarities. Both styles have a vocabulary that uses the French language. They utilize dancers who are trained in technique as well as performance....
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