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Contempory? Modern? Lyrical?
By iceskatergurl43member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Aug 13, 2007 03:58 PM
Edited by iceskatergurl43 (170465) on 2007-08-13 15:59:20

I've never done modern or anything like it before and I was thinking of taking it next year. My studio offers Modern, and Lyrical. Which one should I take? I was also wondering The difference between Modern, Contempory, and Lyrical. Thanks!!

9 Replies to Contempory? Modern? Lyrical?

re: Contempory? Modern? Lyrical?
By cebe23
On Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:31 PM
The boundaries between these styles are kind of blurry. Part of the problem is that what we call "modern" includes a lot that is not really modern anymore. Modern started around the beginning of the 1900s, and back then it was very "modern." Since then we've gone through so many stages, such as post-modern, and the genre has branched out into different techniques (Graham, Horton, Limon, Taylor, etc etc.) Each generation leads to more different techniques within the heading of modern, which is great for moving the art forward, but not so great for easily classifying what style of dance something is. You can kind of compare it to music, where there's a genre (like Rock) and then sub-genres (like Alternative, Punk, Metal, Classic Rock), and even within those there are different categories (Pop-Punk, Hardcore-Punk). And then you get artists who blend rock and rap, and it gets even more confusing.

That said, I tend to think of modern as the more "classical," historical techniques (like Graham, Limon, etc.). That doesn't mean that modern is old or out-of-date. It's definitely evolving and keeping up to date, but it's based in those classical techniques. Lyrical is technically a style of Jazz, so it uses mostly Jazz vocabulary, but the movements are performed with a different quality (more sustained and flowing). Contemporary is sort of a blend of modern, lyrical, and jazz (and probably even more). I think contemporary is the new "modern," meaning it is to us what modern was dancers in the early 1900s. It's new, it's evolving, and it's hard to pin down exactly.

I hope some of that makes sense and helps you figure out what to take. It's really a personal decision. I would recommend taking both, but I know sometimes money and time don't allow that. Maybe you could watch a class in each style and see which one is more interesting to you. Good luck!
re: Contempory? Modern? Lyrical?
By steph6
On Fri Aug 17, 2007 08:11 AM
I would take modern.

This is what I think of the three
-Contemporary tells a story.
-Modern is a way to let out all of whats inside of you. (I hope that makes since to you)
-Lyrical is kind of like a slow jazz.
re: Contempory? Modern? Lyrical?
By DanceDivaInDC
On Fri Aug 17, 2007 09:35 PM
I'd have to agree with Steph on this one. I like the way she broke it down
re: Contempory? Modern? Lyrical?
By HKdancer16
On Sun Aug 19, 2007 02:43 PM
Edited by HKdancer16 (181480) on 2007-08-19 14:56:34 added links
steph6 wrote:


This is what I think of the three
-Contemporary tells a story.
-Modern is a way to let out all of whats inside of you. (I hope that makes since to you)
-Lyrical is kind of like a slow jazz.

Steph6, I'm not criticizing you, but it seems to be that your descriptions of contemporary, lyrical and modern are basically the same sentences only worded differently. Not to mention incorrect. Your descriptions are all actually descriptions of all 3 forms of dance.

Lyrical dance is not "slow jazz." Slow jazz is a form of music. Lyrical is a form of dance that combines ballet with jazz. Lyrical is a way to, like you wrote Steph6 for modern, a "way to let out all of whats inside of you", in other words to show emotion. Lyrical dance goes along with the lyrics of the song (which is why it's called lyrical)and most lyrical dances do tell out of story. After all, the lyrics of a song is basically a story and to dance to it is to tell out a story. In fact, since most forms of dances (jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern, tap, etc) are choreographed to the lyrics of a song, isn't it correct to say that all forms of dance are in a way lyrical? :)

Contemporary is very very very similar to lyrical. Basically, it's a combination of ballet, jazz, and modern, where lyrical dance usually doesn't have a lot of modern in it.

As for modern, I think that cebe23 did an excellent job of explaining what it is. Here is a link to a sticky that explains in greater detail what modern is:
www.dance.net . . .

Steph6, since you're new to dance.net, I'm going to say welcome! But please, and this goes out for anyone, do research before posting information about forms of dance, especially if you're not sure what that form of dance is. Just because something is written in a simple and sweet way doesn't mean it's correct. I don't mean to be a bitch, but everyone here on DDN needs to do research before posting info about anything because you never know when you might be wrong.

Some visual examples of modern, contemporary, and lyrical:

To see a great example of modern dance go to: www.halloffamedance.com . . .
Scroll all the way to the bottom and click on the dance labeled "The Passage."

For a lovely contemporary piece, (one of my favorites!) go to: www.halloffamedance.com . . .
Scroll down to the dance labeled "Rite of Passage."

For a lyrical piece, go to: www.halloffamedance.com . . .
Scroll down to the dance labeled "My Immortal."
re: Contempory? Modern? Lyrical? (karma: 1)
By kiri
On Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:07 PM
I was trained in a university contemporary dance program and I would say that contemporary is NOT like lyrical - lyrical is the fusion of ballet and jazz. Modern was pioneered by isadora duncan, but we generally relate it to the more well known work of martha graham, merce cunningham etc. Contemporary, as one of my professors simply put, is what is happening NOW with modern dance (hence the word contemporary). So it can involve sooo many different aspects of movement - but it should not be considered the same as lyrical. At competitions with my students I have seen many contemporary pieces that I would classify as lyrical, and in response many adjudicators, who i agree with, have said that contemporary should never have pirouettes, fouettes etc. as one adjudicator said - if it has a ballet name, it does not really belong in contemporary.
- i am canadian thou and we may classify slightly differently for competition categories
re: Contempory? Modern? Lyrical?
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Sep 13, 2007 01:42 PM
^I was just going to say that. Contemporary (and modern, for that matter) has very little to do with ballet (other than terminology - as the French terms are the de facto standard for most of the western dance world). Isadora created her technique as a sort of protest AGAINST ballet.
re: Contempory? Modern? Lyrical?
By jb_dancer_chicamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Sep 14, 2007 07:17 PM
THere is alot of confusion about "Contemporary" and "MOdern". I am a university contemporary major in canada. One of our new teachers is from the states and calls contemporary modern and we call modern contemporary haha. I tend to think of modern dance as the technique which the mondern dance founders used " Grahman, Limon, Duncan, Cunningham, Horton....ect" and contemporary is a fusion of all of them. Lyrical is not... i repeat NOT contemporary or modern. "Lyrical" is a studio born form and you will never ever find professional "lyrical" company. Lyrical to me is a branch off of studio jazz, slower and more emotional with some addition of ballet steps and possibly some modern influences.
re: Contempory? Modern? Lyrical?
By HKdancer16
On Sat Sep 15, 2007 01:29 PM
Edited by HKdancer16 (181480) on 2007-09-15 13:33:13
To clear things up, I NEVER said that contemporary was like lyrical. I said that it was SIMILAR. I know that a lot of people may disagree with that statement. I'm not sure if I still agree with it myself. Thing is, I was basing my explanation off contemporary lyrical pieces. There's a difference between contemp.lyrical and contemporary, I know. So I think we have all established the fact that contemporary is not lyrical.

Anyway, the real reason I posted:

Does anybody watch here So You Think You can Dance? Heidi and Travis performed a contemporary routine to "Calling You" by Celine Dion there. Kiri, I'm not trying to offend you, but that dance goes against what you said about contemporary not having turns because pirouettes are incorporated into the choreography. But again, since contemporary is the modern day version of modern, I guess choreographers can put into it whatever they want and whatever goes with the lyrics.
www.youtube.com . . .=

So. I do have a question I'd like to throw out. Many times I've seen dances classified as "open" in competitions, like at Hall of Fame Dance Challenge. At their website it states:
Open- Any style of dance or combination of styles.

Yet most open dances I have seen are more like a combination of contemporary, modern, and lyrical. So would it be proper to call a dance that combines those 3 styles contemporary lyrical or not?
re: Contempory? Modern? Lyrical?
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Sep 16, 2007 01:51 AM
Sure. Because "lyrical" is a style of dance, but "contemporary" is a period of art. Anything that happened since ~1970 is technically contemporary.

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