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how different are "contemporary ballet" classes?

Guest Hilarie

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Guest Hilarie

I'm in the process of trying to find a school where I can take some beginner adult classes in the fall. I just found out about a school that is wonderfully convenient to my apartment - but it's the official school of a contemporary ballet company. Have any of you taken classes that were designated as "contemporary ballet", and how different are they from traditional classes?


I'm open to something a little different, but I don't want anything TOO weird or that would screw up my technique if I went back to a traditional class later... :wub:

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I don't know how the definition of contemporary of modern dance in other countries goes.


But this summer I took a beginners class in contemorary dance (it wasn't contemporary ballet, but purely contemporary dance) and the teacher did a lot of ballet related steps in the warm-up. Tendu, plié in 1st and 2nd and the alignment was just as important as in ballet. But I think it might depend on the teacher?


So my experience with contemporary dance is it cannot ruin ballet, in fact, I found it to help a lot in ballet instead, with the breathing and relaxation.

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The term actually doesn't have much meaning in itself. I have a friend who teaches "contemporary ballet" and her classes are very classical in technique; it's just that the music is a bit unusual, given sometimes to Dave Brubeck, sometimes to post-impressionist music with unusual meters, occasional drum riffs, and prebaroque compositions. But all the technical work is quite classical. It's sort of like Paul Draper tapping to Bach, or in 11/4 time. Others I know toss in a bit of Cunningham technique to the mix, and yet more are essentially doing modern in ballet shoes, mostly Horton technique - go figure! :wub:

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If you decide to try it, let us know what you find out, and how you like it. I have been taking several drop in classes in different areas near my home, just because I have the time and energy right now. It is difficult trying to understand the different little nuances of the styles, but it is a great learning experience, and basically just fun.

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I would agree with Mel --- there's not enough information here to make the evaluation you're looking for. Maybe some specifics --- such as which company/school it is --- would help. You should also talk to the people at the school about your concerns. They should be able to tell you about their philosophy of what they do, and why they think it's a good idea.

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