Charlesworth Ballet School offers Contemporary Dance training to students between the ages of 8 and 17 years old. Contemporary dance is an expressive genre that combines elements from many other styles of dance and has grown to become one of the most dominant genres for formally trained dancers throughout the world.
Contemporary dance combines the strong but controlled legwork of Ballet, with elements of Modern Dance, focusing on the contract and release of the body, and the unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed, and direction. It also employs floor work, fall and recovery, and improvisation characteristics of Modern dance. Although originally formed by and borrowing from Classical, Modern, and Jazz styles, it has since come to incorporate elements from many other styles of dance, including the strong bend of the knees used in African dance, and Japanese dance style movements.
Charlesworth Ballet School’s Contemporary programme begins with studying the foundations of the Lester Horton and Martha Graham Contemporary technique. These two techniques were designed to develop the strength and flexibility of the dancer’s body as a whole by using repetition with static movement and demonstrating many curved and linear shapes. Whilst practising this technique, the students also study Composition work which teaches them skills to choreograph and work as a team to compose dances. Students will get the opportunity to perform a piece of choreography for parents in Week 4 of Term 2.
As students make their way through the programme, they branch out into more difficult work which sees them using the curved and linear shapes, they studied earlier in the year, in more mobile travelling based exercises. Through Term’s 3 and 4, students will cover the syllabus designed to develop a greater range of movement and coordination as they dance with different special awareness, using gravity, suspension and release. In addition to this, the students will develop creativity through improvisation exercises. Contemporary Dance encourages dancers to move outside of their comfort zones; the great strength and coordination required for this genre complement their Classical Ballet training.