The History of Contemporary Dance
Contemporary dance history has its roots in the 20th century when American dancers rebelled against the strict rules of ballet in order to develop a more natural way of dancing. What is called ‘Contemporary Dance’ in Britain grew out of the ‘Modern Dance’ that arose in Central Europe and the USA. Thus, important here, amongst others in Central Europe, were Rudolf Laban, Harold Kreutzbeg and later Mary Wigman and Kurt Joss. In the USA there were Ruth St, Denis and Ted Shawn, Isadora Duncan and later Doris Humphrey, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and Robert Cohan. Always changing and ever-evolving, contemporary dance techniques encourage and reward creative freedom and artistic expression.
Contemporary Dance Exams & Qualification
The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing contemporary dance exams are recognised internationally for their quality and excellence. Please note that the lower age limit for Intermediate Foundation exam entries is 13 years old. Students must have passed the Intermediate Foundation exam before they are able to enter for the Intermediate Level.
The Contemporary Dance Syllabus
Created by Dr Ross McKim, the well-known dancer, choreographer, philosopher, and Artistic Director of the Rambert School (from 1985–2015), our Contemporary dance syllabus is informed by Eastern concepts of subtle energy and draws influence from choreographers Graham, Hawkins and Cohan. This syllabus aims to introduce students to the fundamentals of Contemporary dance technique and performance by approaching different movement themes at each level, specially created solos and the inclusion of structured improvisation to enable students to explore, develop and create their own movement vocabulary. We have developed three levels of the syllabus: Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced 1.