Contemporary dance has an expressive style that incorporates elements of several dance genres including modern, jazz, lyrical and classical ballet. Although termed “contemporary” it is a dance genre that was developed during the mid-20th century and continues to evolve today. With the ability to be performed to many different styles of music it stresses versatility and improvisation, focussing on floorwork and the use of gravity.
Pioneers of contemporary dance include Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and Merce Cunningham. They broke the rules of the strict forms of ballet, believing that dancers should have freedom of movement and allow their bodies to express their innermost feelings. Contemporary dance forms an important part of the training of dancers in vocational schools throughout the UK, Europe and USA.