Contemporary dance stresses versatility and improvisation, unlike the strict, structured nature of ballet. Contemporary dancers focus on floorwork, using gravity to pull them down to the floor. This dance genre is often done in bare feet. Contemporary dance can be performed to many different styles of music.
Pioneers of contemporary dance include Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and Merce Cunningham because they broke the rules of the strict forms of ballet. These dancer/choreographers all believed that dancers should have freedom of movement, allowing their bodies to freely express their innermost feelings. It's important to note, however, that while Graham moved into what is now known as modern dance, and Duncan's style was uniquely her own, Cunningham is often spoken of as the father of contemporary dance.
Meet your teacher
Chris trained in Performing Arts at De Montfort University in Leicestershire, graduating in 2001 with 1st Class Honours. He began working professionally in Dance in 2000 and over the past decade has had a full and varied career. He has toured extensively performing work with The Mission (State Of Emergency), Springs Dance Company, Mobius Dance Theatre, Mercurial Dance, KeiraDance and Parlor Dance in the UK and abroad and also performed in the music video for Lily Allen’s The Fear.
Not limited to dance alone, Chris has trained in and performed Aerial work in the site specific piece Forbidden: A Tale Of Love and War, and regularly works in a physical theatre setting, developing movement alongside voice and character. Most recently, Chris has been performing in Close Distance for Parlor Dance on their national tour.
Chris has also been teaching for over a decade, delivering classes and educational work to pupils and professionals alike. As well as delivering sessions for the CAT programmes in London and the East Midlands and The Place’s CYD programme, he has delivered outreach work for a number of the professional companies he has toured with. Chris has been a lead artist on Boys Dancing for several years now, a project lead by BeingFrank Physical Theatre and Warwick Arts Centre.
Working with young men and boys around the West Midlands, Chris has choreographed a number of live performance pieces as well as choreographing and directing a dance film short for The Quiet Man Suite. Chris teaches all ages and abilities from pre-school to advanced years, beginners to professional level.