promotion image of download ymail app
Promoted

What is the differences between Contemporary dance and Ballet?

Just want to know the differences.

I've never had a contemp. Class at the studio, And already have 4 classes going after school a week, with an additional 2 dances class in school everyday.

So I have to pick and choose :)

Please tell me the differences between contemporary style dance, and Ballet.

Thanks in advanced!

9 Answers

Relevance
  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Ballet class begins with barre work and then moves to the center and then across the floor. It is very precise and repetitious as that is necessary to build strong technique. There is only one right way to do things within each method of ballet training. Ballet technique is essential to be good at most other genres of dance. Almost all of ballet comes from engaging and using your turnout.

    Classical ballet would be part of any one of these styles of ballet: Vaganova (Russian), Cecchetti (Italian), Royal Ballet (English) and Paris Opera Ballet (French style.) There is also Danish, but that is used less often as well as Cuban which is very close to Vaganova. They would include story ballets like Swan Lake,The Nutcracker Suite and La Bayadere as well as the older more romantic ballets like Giselle and La Sylphide.

    Neoclassical ballet would be Balanchine. He is considered the father of Neoclassical ballet. Examples would be like Concerto Barocco, Jewels and Apollo. Generally Balanchine pieces are short and very fast often without a story line like Serenade. The dancers use their arms quite differently and pirouettes are started from a lunge position and are landed in 4th not 5th position with crossed arms. Some may describe the dancing as more "sassy" and flirtatious.

    When you talk about contemporary dance in a recital school or competition dance school as opposed to professional concert contemporary dance, they can be two different things.

    Concert contemporary can be danced barefoot, in socks, en pointe or anything else the choreographer can come up with. Often professional concert contemporary dance is abstract and devoid of any emotion at all but just simple line and movement. In contemporary dance, the choreographer is the only "star". Any type of music, noise, the spoken word or even no music or sound at all can be used. It breaks the rules of both classical & neoclassical ballet. Contemporary dance has no technique of it's own. It uses ballet and modern dance (Graham, Horton, Limon etc.) along with the choreographer's own dance vocabulary. I think it is best to give some examples of Contemporary dance as the best way to describe it. I will try to give you a mix of styles.

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

    Youtube thumbnail

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

    Youtube thumbnail

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

    Youtube thumbnail

    If you are talking about recital school and competition dance which I think you may be, contemporary is very different. That stye would be closer to what you see on shows like SYTYCD. They have sort of a lyrical version with lots of "emoting", floor work and acrobatic tricks.That is usually the only place you will find specific "contemporary classes". Professional contemporary dancers take modern & ballet classes. It is the choreography that makes it contemporary. They also take workshops with specific contemporary choreographers in order to learn their specific dance vocabulary. Every successful choreographer is very different and has their own style (voice) in dance.

    @ JenGen- glad you liked it. However, taken right from your link they also teach classical ballet at those schools. Often modern dance is called contemporary dance. Even Martha Graham who was America's top example of codified modern dance hated the term Modern and called her style Contemporary. Truth is, it is really modern not contemporary if it has rules. But then again, there was no such thing as contemporary dance as we know it today so technically it was the contemporary dance back then. That didn't happen until the late 1970s just after the short post modern era. While technically not the same as modern, people do use the term interchangeably some times but then it is hard to know what they really mean by it. My definition of modern (as I am old enough to have seen all those eras) is a codified discipline like Graham and Horton and in the UK Laban as in the Laban modern method. They all have specific rules. Anything that is not codified and has no rules such as an individual's own dance vocabulary found only in a choreographers choreography is true concert contemporary dance. So in the case of your first link to the Laban school that really is a modern dance technique class along with ballet. Contemporary dance has no set technique.

    "Alongside daily classes in contemporary dance techniques and classical ballet, creative workshops will help you shape your artistic practice and develop your choreographic voice."

    So essentially they are saying the same thing I am but using the term Contemporary technique to refer to Laban modern dance technique. In most contemporary focus schools you will have 50% ballet and 50% modern dance training. While not as much as someone training for a ballet career, it is still a great deal of classical ballet training. Based on a 30 hour training per week we are talking 15 hours of ballet.

    Source(s): My daughter is a professional concert contemporary dancer & choreographer. Ballet academy trained. Dance grad of LaGuardia Arts high school (the FAME school.) Graham & Horton modern trained. Juilliard SI. BFA in dance from NYU Tisch. Currently performing in a world renown concert contemporary company. I worked for NYCB (New York City Ballet.)
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 4 years ago

    Ballet is more classical and graceful. It also has specific actions you need to perform so its 'stricter' in a sense. Also you need a lot more strength, technique, turn out and flexibility compared to other dance genres however it is fun & a beautiful art to learn. Contemporary on the other hand is ballet and modern mixed in one. Its more flowing and you can have more freedom too it. You still need some strength and flexibility (You will gain it when you do lessons so don't worry about that now) but that goes with nearly any dance to be honest. This is also great to learn. If you want to see the difference between the two watch a ballet and contemporary dance. A very good example of this is to watch the 'Nutcracker' which was originally a ballet dance however 'Matthew Bourne's the nutcracker' is a contemporary version. Matthew Bourne (the choreographer) has changed the settings and changed it into a contemporary piece. You will see that it still contains ballet actions in it as contemporary is a mix between ballet & modern.However Matthew Bourne's choreography is a bit dramatic and some consider it weird but still classed as contemporary. Below in the source box i have have put 4 links. 1. Matthew Bourne's nutcracker-frozen lake scene. 2. ballet version of same scene 3. solo contemporary performer- I love this dance! 4. Another ballet dance in the nutcracker Hope this helps. P.s.Its never too late anyway! But i do it because i love it too! i started at 13 & already been asked to do grade 4/5- 4/5 grades higher than i should:P! x

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • JenGen
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Mintchips has written the best definition I have ever seen. I'll be bookmarking that one.

    The only thing I would add is that in Europe and the UK, (concert) contemporary is a dance form one can do without having done ballet to a very high level first, and it is pursued as a discipline in its own right.

    http://www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/study/dance/undergra...

    http://www.nscd.ac.uk/view.aspx?id=3

    We do have contemporary classes and they are nothing to do with lyrical dancing and emoting.

    Lyrical (and emoting) doesn't really exist over here except as an US influence.

    But contemporary dancers with a good ballet background always look better to me. I do know contemporary dancers with no ballet background at all who are still good performers but I am sure they find it harder or just have natural ability. Ballet underpins contemporary.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 7 years ago

    They both have similar technique e.g. pointed feet, turn out. But I would say contemporary is more about feeling the dance and is a little closer to lyrical... it just has more power. Ballet on the other hand can still have a lot of feeling but is much more about exact moves and timing. I prefer contemporary but both are really good and if you have experience with one you will find that helps when doing the other.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    The correct answer to this question is that contemporary dance is the combining of various styles of dance. There is no "technique" for contemporary dance, but Ballet technique is obviously applied as it would be in a jazz or lyrical class. You would find it similar to moderny lyrical.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • They both have multiple similarities. Contemporary takes from classical ballet but classical ballet is a bit stricter. Contemporary also focuses alot on emotion as the contemporary dancer is trying to tell a story with their body.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 7 years ago

    Ballet is all about technique and making sure that everything looks easy however Contemporary is a lot more relaxed and doesn't focus in the technique as much. Ballet is all about perfecting every move and then achieving the ultimate goal of going en pointe but Contemporary isn't about perfecting everything and making sure that everything is absolutely perfect as you can look more relaxed when performing it . You also perform different shows. Hope this helped :)

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I am interested in this too

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • noreen
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Hurrah, that's what I was exploring for! Thanks op of this question.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.