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Whats the difference between modern, jazz and contemporary?

like, if i were able to do one, would i be able to do the other two?

5 Answers

  • Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have answered this so many times in different variations. I hope you don't mind if I paste sections from other times I have answered this. I will try to answer for both the professional discription of these styles as well as small studio versions of them.

    True modern dance is very specific with a definite set of rules for each of the disciplined styles. Martha Graham, Horton, Limon, Dunham and Cunningham are the major modern styles. There are other styles that have branched off from those such as Paul Taylor, Parsons and Alvin Ailey. These are performed barefooted and unlike ballet (which it was based on) involve a sense of being grounded as opposed to floating. Here is an example;

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    The chances that "true modern" disciplines would be taught at a small studio or school is not likely. People tend to call almost anything modern these days. Because the term is used loosely, you would have to see just what a studio means by it if you were thinking about taking class. Quite often they call Lyrical dance Modern. There seems to be a blur depending on the studio between modern. contemporary and lyrical. Sometimes the term modern and contemporary are used for street dance in England.

    Jazz is danced to contemporary or theater music. It can be danced in jazz shoes, jazz sneakers or character shoes with heels for women. Jazz dancer's technique is based on ballet technique. All movement emanates from a strong center (core.) Other styles can be incorporated into jazz such as hip hop, contemporary and acro. A good example of a jazz would be this jazz class from the film Center Stage

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    Concert Contemporary dance is hard and you must have a strong ballet background for it. It is what is taught at schools like Juilliard and NYU Tisch. It can be danced barefoot, en pointe in socks or anything the choreographer can come up with. It is danced to music, noise, or the sound of the dancers breath for counts.

    Here are some examples.

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    What they call contemporary dance at many studios is more like the stuff on SYTYCD, which is more Lyrical based. Concert Contemporary dance is not really lyric driven even when the dance is to the spoken word instead of music. It is either Idea based or totally abstract, rarely if ever literal, therefore never "lyrical."

    As to your question....yes, you would most likely not have too much trouble if you have done one to switch to the others. Especially if you have a ballet background too.

    Source(s): Academy trained ballet dancer NYC and concert contemporary dance, who has done my share of Jazz classes. I am also trained in modern Graham & Horton.
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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Modern jazz is upbeat and you have to be very sharp on your movement. It is good to have experiance with ballet and lyrical. Contemporary is lyrical and ballet. You must have ballet skills to do lyrical. Lyrical is like jazz but slower and more soft music then pop music. Ballet is a dance of time and must go through all of the movements. If you are looking for ballet that is like broadway, character ballet is right for you. I honestly like jazz better. Hoped this helped! =D

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  • 1 decade ago

    true modern was a rebellion against ballet, everything is turned in, there are a lot more contractions, and everything is very grounded however the vocabulary and actual technique is very very similar.

    Jazz is more upbeat and incorporates "pop" or "social" dance

    Contemporary is fairly new and still being sorted out and defined, and right now there's 10 diff kinds of contemporary. so right now you won't know what contemporary is until the next style comes around

    Source(s): Dance history
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  • 1 decade ago

    modern and contemporary are quite similar. they have balletic foundations, but they are NOTHING like ballet. they focus on feeling and the use of the whole body; they show expression more than ballet does, in my opinion. music used varies.

    jazz is more upbeat than modern and contemporary. it focuses on fast movements and jumps/turns. music is usually 'pop.'

    and yeah, if you did one, you could do the other two. in fact, most dancers do several dance styles.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Modern- is a little more slow and involves more moving of your arms and feet

    Jazz- it can be fast and slow and involves a lot movement in your arms and legs

    contemporary- involves less movement in your legs but a lot of movement in your legs and sometimes even has acting in it

    yes, if you can do one you can do all of them. i do all of them and think im Pretty at it and its always fun.

    Source(s): i've been a dancer for 13 years
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