Encyclopedia of Dance: Modern Dances


Modern dance does not tolerate conventions and barriers. Freedom and improvisation are the main features of contemporary choreographic art

Modern dance style is available to everyone, regardless of origin, status, age and gender. Anyone who has learned several basic dance steps and diversified them, depending on their imagination, can recharge their batteries from an incendiary melody, and communicate positively with friends.


The name itself suggests that people living today have witnessed the emergence and spread of these dances. The term covers a large number of dances, diverse in style and character, that are different from each other.

The prehistory of modern dance begins in the early 20th century, when Isadora Duncan and a number of her associates challenged traditional classical choreography. They created their own schools of modern ballet — an art free from conventions. Improvisation and free choreography is the main principle of modern dance art. The 20th century brought many new dance types and styles, the most famous of which are boogie-woogie, jazz dances, blues, Charleston, rock and roll, macarena, step, lambada, Latin American dances. At the end of the 20th century, disco dances, hip-hop, breakdance, hustle, krump, tectonics, rhythm and blues and others became widespread.

Styles and types of modern dances and their features

Modern dances do not have clear norms and standards. Their characteristic feature is the emphasis on freedom of performance and improvisation. Democracy — the political basis of modern society — is also manifested in the choreography. Each performer has the right to self-expression in music, choreography, and visual arts. This is especially evident in the culture of hip-hop and in dances called street dances. Today we dance not like yesterday, and tomorrow — not like today — the credo of modern choreography. The main thing is here and now. Modern dances reflect the feelings and emotions of today.

modern dances

Some of them, such as rock and roll, have already experienced the peak of their widespread popularity, but are still loved by their fans. Others — such as hip-hop, breakdancing, rhythm and blues dancing, tectonics — are still popular today.

Hustle, perhaps one of the most beloved dances of our time, is truly universal. Appearing at the end of the last century, it is popular today and will be popular for a long time to come. The secret of such popular love is that the hustle can be danced in any situation — at a disco, at a party, on the dance floor — with any partner, to any music. Dance movements are simple and accessible even to beginners.

Dancing in the style of popping looks spectacular. This style is also erroneously called top breakdancing. The peculiarity of this dance is its fantastic, illusory nature. Show business stars are happy to use popping, and especially its subspecies «robot», in their performances, which makes the concert number original and unusual.

One of the most popular modern dances is krump. Its history is hardly two decades old. This is a dance designed to show the strength and energy of the performer. Its expression lies in the release of the dancer from negative emotions, in splashing out anger and negativity.

Modern dances include many types and styles. All of them are united by the scope and demonstration of their art. Almost all dances of the 20th, 21st century are danced in discos, nightclubs. The 20th century brought another way to demonstrate choreographic skills — battles — impromptu competitions of dancers. Absorbing all new trends, modern dances do not cease to change.

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