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Summer Dance Camp 2019 – Contemporary

Susan SDC 2019Kids SDC 2019


For a very popular genre of dance, it’s very hard to pin down what makes a dance “contemporary”. The word is historical, powerful, and tough to define. However, it is undeniable that Contemporary as a dance performance genre is an exciting world to jump into. So what better way to start and learn more about Contemporary than through Summer Dance Camp classes?


Contemporary, as said before, is historical. It grew its roots from ballet and also as an effort to break away from it. Forerunners such as Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and Merce Cunningham slowly developed their own ways of moving, with bodies educated in ballet but finding new ways to utilize their skills. It is a momentous growth, from one pioneer to another, taking cues and learning from each other but adding more and more of their own knowledge in it. 


Contemporary is also powerful, not only in its techniques but also its concepts. Storytelling became more pivotal in pushing movements from the body, and techniques were developed to push dancers into better images to convey the meaning of the dance. Fall and recovery, contraction, and other techniques were developed by the pioneers of Contemporary dance into what became an accepted canon. As more and more people come into Contemporary and bring their own influences and knowledge, it became harder and harder to single out what is Contemporary dance and what is not. However, the uniqueness of the genre gives space for everyone to come, enjoy, and create a projection of their stories into performance.


Our two teachers of Contemporary courses in Summer Dance Camp 2019 gave their own unique blend of Contemporary as well. Susan Yeung, an educator in Lasalle School of the Arts Singapore, gave a workshop that introduced particular concepts and movements within the Lasalle school to the participants. A powerful director and tastemaker in her own rights, her class was packed with techniques and movements that not only challenged the participants to be better dancers but also better people in general. On the other hand, Ajeng Soelaeman, a noted Indonesian dancer, choreographer, and teacher, introduced a more freeing aspect of the Contemporary genre through her Kids Intensive. She challenged the young participants with fun exercises and choreographed a piece using a song from BTS, the popular K-Pop boyband, per the participants’ request. 


It is hard to say what makes a series of movements as Contemporary dance. However, it is undeniable that Contemporary choreography would always be honest, reflective, and interesting. Whether it is a systematic, technical approach to choreography, or a K-Pop Contemporary choreography, it sure is a spectacle to watch.

Watch the kids performance here and the adult performance here.


This is a part of the coverage on Summer Dance Camp 2019! Read more on other genres covered in SDC 2019:
|| Introduction || Contemporary || Urban || Hip Hop || Vogue ||
|| Traditional Contemporary || Broadway || Collabonation || Showcase ||