Difference between modern dance and other dance forms

by Alice Louise Nightingale
(No location given)

What’s the difference between modern dance and other dance forms like ballet, jazz and hip hop?

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Jun 13, 2012
Answer from Maria
by: Maria

Dear Alice,

To give you an accurate answer to this question, I would need hundreds of pages. Modern dance, ballet, jazz and hip hop are each one a big universe of aesthetical features and values. Within each one of those universes there's a variety of styles and trends and depending on each specific choreographer, company, historical and geographical context or scenic project you will find differences and particularities.

However, from a very general perspective, one could say that there are two characteristics that make the differences between all dance genres:

1. Ideological and cultural background

2. Choreographic vocabulary and features

For the hundreds of styles of modern dance, ballet, jazz and hip hop, one could identify those two aspects. And then, one could create an understanding of their differences.

You know contemporary-dance.org is a topic focused website, so we don't have much information about jazz and hip hop. However, we do have some good readings about modern dance and ballet, because we consider them as important historical predecessors of contemporary dance. You may want to read those pages as a starting point:

Modern Dance History

Ballet History

Warm regards,


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