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Are contemporary and modern dance the same?

If not.. what is the difference?

Thanks =)

3 Answers

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  • Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    No, they are not. However, contemporary dance grew out of modern dance. These are the differences.

    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; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKjFdmIlVMs

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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.

    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.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTIHUMIkWcM

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr-4GWBSDM0

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY7fJulabYY

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBhtE7A-mIM

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-H3kD6trvY

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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."

    Source(s): Academy trained ballet dancer NYC and concert contemporary dancer. I am also trained in modern Graham & Horton.
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  • 1 decade ago

    contemporary is more like lyrical and has softer movement, flowy.

    modern is harsher movement. it is stronger and sharper and usually includes more force and strength. you can search YouTube for some sytycd dances and u will see significant differences.

    Source(s): dancer 12 years
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  • 1 decade ago

    no. comtemporary formed from ballet, and modern has a harsher tone to it, sort of like african drumming -although it can have a soft side as well! confusing yes.

    Source(s): 13 years old, going into my 11th year of dance, and 4th year of competing. ballet tap jazz modern and pointe!!
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