Combining Ballet and Contemporary into one unforgettable routine

Combining Ballet and Contemporary into one unforgettable routine
Written by Amily Blanch

Dance and music are a never-ending source of inspiration. Once you surrender your body to the melody and beat, the beautiful dance moves will start coming out of you. There are so many dance styles today, and each carries something unique and different. In order to create an unforgettable dance routine, you might think about making a combination of two or more dance styles.

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There is one combination that never seems to fail. Classical ballet joined with contemporary dance makes the most memorable routines.

The only thing you need to do is take the best out of both. By combining them cleverly, you will end up with a breathtaking piece that the audience will enjoy. More importantly, you will enjoy performing this lovely sequence.

Classical ballet has always been one of the most demanding dance styles. Dancers need to practice the technique behind it for years in order to master it. The technique is rigorous but fascinating.

First of all, a good dancer needs to be fully covered when it comes to the leg (feet) positions. They are the fundament for all the other ballet elements.

The dancers then need to take a hold of the pointe work and the powerful leg extensions. The turns and pirouettes need to be to the point. In addition, stretching goes without saying. It is crucial to bring your flexibility to the maximum. By doing so, you will find it easier to do grand jetés and arabesques, which are the most beautiful element in ballet.

Ballet does require hard work and dedication, but it is definitely worthwhile.

Contemporary dance is one of the newer additions to the family of dance styles. Unlike in ballet, there is no clear line of what is and what isn’t allowed in contemporary dance. It is a dance style free from all the rules.

Contemporary is very expressive and aims to cause certain emotions in the viewers. This style engages the dancer both physically and mentally.

The best contemporary dancers are able to lose themselves completely in their performance and carry the emotion to the fullest.

This style opens the door to your imagination and leaves your hand completely untied.

Even though it feels like there is no order in contemporary, it relies heavily on dance technique.

Although you might see a lot of flex feet work, instead of pointe, or bent knees instead of fully extended, the posture and the precision are inevitable. Contemporary is filled with complicated turns, floor transitions, and unique jumps. None of these can be properly performed if the dancer hasn’t mastered the technique.

Therefore, ballet and contemporary make a perfect combination.

Creating choreography out of these two dance styles is a true joy.

Once you decide that you want to create a new piece of choreography, the next thing you need to do is:

  1. Decide on the purpose. What do you wish to say? What emotions do you want to express? What kind of a reaction do you wish to evoke?
  2. You also need to find something to start the creation process. You could find inspiration in the lyrics of a song. Perhaps, dealing with private issues will give you an idea of what you wish to communicate. It could be something as simple as an encounter with a stranger on the street. Whatever it is, keep it in mind while you move on with the creation of your performance.
  3. After deciding on the general idea of your routine, you need to choose a song to support it. The choices are many, from songs with powerful, inspirational lyrics to equally beautiful instrumental pieces of music. No matter which way you go, keep in mind the music has to move you in some way. That way, you will be able to reach the audience, and that is the key.
  4. Now you come to the best part of the process, which is the choreography itself. You should listen to your song several times, with your eyes closed. In your mind, images of the elements you might choose will start to appear. Memorize them in order to create a mind map of your routine. Once you’ve created a rough concept, you can start polishing it and trying out a combination of elements.
  5. Choose the best out of both styles. Beautiful, gracious ballet jumps combined with unconventional contemporary landing break the rules and create the effect of the unexpected. Furthermore, once you piece together the turns, pirouettes, and fouettes with emotional facial expressions you get an exquisite piece of choreography. Additionally, you may position your arms whichever way you wish, making the turns even more interesting. The transitions between the elements are those parts of the routine you can do whatever you wish. You can walk, run, slide to the floor or reach up to the sky. Remember, nothing is forbidden.
  6. If the routine is not a solo piece but a duo or a group dance, you can use the connection between the dancers. They should communicate with each other through touch and contacts. Make them intertwined and supportive of each other. Most importantly, the lifts are a great addition to every routine. Make them unconventional, as well. This will contribute your routine immensely.
  7. Finally, you need a costume that suits the routine. With these two styles combined, you don’t need a shiny costume full of glitter. On the contrary, go with something simple that won’t take the focus from your performance, but support the idea behind it.

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All things considered, there is no doubt about ballet and contemporary being the winning combination.

The compelling technique of the ballet is an unsurpassed source of beautiful figures and elements. On the other hand, the wild spirit of contemporary will keep you inspired and allow you to make a unique piece of art. With these two dance styles as your allies, you are bound to succeed in your intentions.

What are you waiting for? Start working on that unforgettable dance routine right away!

About the author

Amily Blanch

Amily literally lives dance in every possible way. She has been dancing since the age of 6, with a grace moving through various styles such as ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop and standard. Her passion hit her like the fiery breath and she started writing for different blogs.

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