Key elements to Modern Dance

by Georgia
(Adelaide, Australia )

Could you please describe any key elements to a modern/contemporary dance? What should it include? What makes a good modern dance?

Thanks Georgia :)

Comments for Key elements to Modern Dance

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Aug 26, 2012
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Georgia,

'Modern' and 'Contemporary' are words that refer to two different and wide aesthetic perspectives within the field of dance, so an accurate answer to your question should be pretty long to avoid talking from a reduced vision of what those forms of dance are.

To help you in a handier way, I'd say that you should think the task differently. Instead of asking yourself if the dance is 'good' or 'bad', you better ask yourself about the 'contribution' that the dance makes. That 'contribution' can be for your own life, for the life of the audience or for the dialogue that you, as an artist, decide to establish with your artistic community and with the rest of people in general.

When you create a dance, you express your self and create consequences in your life and in the life of others. This makes that an important aspect of creating a dance is that you look deep within yourself and do something that corresponds to your personal positioning, both towards dance and towards life in a more general way. The more you reach your own self, the more originality you will achieve. And that is something that should be included in a modern or contemporary dance.

Another important aspect is the choreographic vocabulary you use. Again, originality is important and 'moves' from other genres of dance should not be included, unless you're working on a specific fusion or you have a very clear aesthetic purpose for it.

Then, it is important that you assume art as a significant and serious activity, even if you're doing it to have fun. We have one thread in the forum in which Elle, from Australia, asked how to make choreography more professional. Please read my answer there to have a wider understanding of how to compose a dance in a more professional way. Here's the link to that page:

How to make choreography more professional

And for ideas and a better perspective of the difference between modern and contemporary dance, I strongly recommend you to read our pages about their history. You will find important examples of what modern and contemporary choreographers have done throughout history. That may help you decide how to position yourself and will be a great source for ideas. Here are the links:

Modern Dance History

Contemporary Dance History

There are many threads in our forum that may be of your interest. Take your time to browse around. Here's another example:

Do I need to know any specific dance moves to compose a contemporary dance?

I hope this helps.

Warm regards,


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