Evolutionary Dance

The dance forms that have survived involve perfection. They do evolve over time, but the baser techniques remain and the dances have deep roots.  Among the long standing dances, there are many new dance forms that emerge from around the world based on people and music.  Many people latch onto the new dance forms and skip over the more rooted ones for many reasons.  To name a few, it can be easy to make a living because the playing field is level when a new dance emerges, there’s little history so little to learn, and often the rules can be made as you go because there are few leaders in the field to who you will be compared.

When it comes to more established dance forms, there is a steeper learning curve. There’s a history that should be learned and respected, typically a syllabus of steps, accepted technique, and studying the people who have made it already in the field. Those who have made it likely studied under tutelage of the master before them and they have studied with the masters before them creating a passing down of knowledge from generation to generation. A common theme in established dances is they demand perfection to be considered a dancer of note. Sometimes, these forms are deemed boring by the general public because the effort to achieve this ease of perfection falls on blind eyes. This is why companies are trying break out of the box to round out their audiences.  Classical ballet companies are providing a variety in their season including contemporary pieces, pieces to music that is more pop culture, and bringing back renowned pieces that are more popular. The dancing still is rooted in classical ballet, but it is evolved to be more accessible.

Taking something classical and breaking it into something different while maintaining the base technique is fascinating.  Contemporary and modern dance have been given much exposure through shows like So You Think You Can Dance and have whetted the appetite of the public to appreciate this form.  The roots tied to ballet and solid training are still there, but the evolution of these two forms have captivated the imagination of the general public.  These public exposures to dance culture have propelled our young dancers beyond where the same age would have been technique-wise a generation ago. It is amazing to watch the upcoming generation. They now have stars that they truly relate to and  can follow more easily because of social and mass media.  The choreographers who are helping grow this collective dance knowledge are getting the credit they are due because of the media exposure.

This is such an exciting time to be part of dance as it is evolving more quickly than ever in history. Be grateful that you get this experience and don’t take it for granted. Get involved with projects with emerging choreographers. Take opportunities to choreograph your own works when music inspires you. If you can think outside the box, you can become a leader in the changing dance landscape and leave you mark on this art. Your solid roots will help you get there – never forget from where your dancing today came and honour that!

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