By: Gabrielle L. Norona
Dance is a form of art that expresses feelings and emotions. And because dance is closely related to music, one can say that dance is as old as music itself. There are many different types of dances. Most dances are influenced by cultures and values of different people. I like any kind of dance, but the ones I like best are classical and contemporary ballet, which is the reason why I chose to write about them, study them, and actually dance them.
Classical ballet is a type of performance dance that originated during the Italian Renaissance in the 15th century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. Classical ballet started in Italy over 500 years ago and was popular in France and Europe. It was created in 1669 in the 17th century. Ballet requires flexibility, coordination and a strong, core, back, feet and legs.
Contemporary ballet is a genre of dance that incorporates elements of classical ballet and modern dance. Many of its attributes come from the ideas and innovations of 20th century modern dance, including floor work and turn-in of the legs. It was created in the 1960’s.
Classical ballet is best known for its exactness of technique. It features pointe work, turn out, high extensions and gracefulness. Contemporary Ballet is a form of dance which incorporates elements of both classical ballet and modern dance. It takes its technique and use of pointe work from classical ballet, however, it allows a greater range of movement that does not support the strict body lines that are traditional in any of the methods of classical ballet technique. Many of its concepts come from the ideas of modern dance, including floor choreography and turning in of the legs.
A classical ballet has certain rules that must be followed but a contemporary ballet has none. In a contemporary ballet there might not be music, costumes, scenery, story or footwear. A classical ballet has five specific ingredients that must be included.
1. It must tell a story – often a fairytale involving a boy/girl plot with a problem to be resolved by the end.
2. It must have costumes and scenery.
3. It must have music and the music must go with the story.
4. It must have a “folk” or “character” dance.
5. The female dancers must wear pointe shoes and tutus.
Classical and contemporary ballet have a few similarities. Both of their movements are French. For example, plié means to bend and relevé means to rise. One of the well known similarity between classical and contemporary ballet is that they both have a strong relationship to music. Classical and contemporary dancers should be highly trained and can also have a male and female on stage.
Although classical and contemporary ballet have few similarities, they have a lot of differences. They have different styles of music and outfits. For example, in classical ballet, females wear pointe shoes while contemporary does not. A big difference is that