Contemporary dance emerges as a reaction to classical forms and probably as a need to express oneself more freely with the body. It seeks to express, through the dancer, an idea, a feeling, an emotion, to tell a story just like classical ballet, but mixing body movements of the twentieth and twenty-first century.

Its origin dates back to the end of the 19th century. In the beginning, an alternative to the strict technique of classical ballet was sought. Dancers began to appear dancing barefoot and performing less rigid jumps than the traditional ones on stage. Over time, variations appeared in which the classical technique shone by its absence and even movements of other body techniques were introduced. Contemporary dance routine can illustrate a concept, propose an environment or present movements with the purpose of achieving a certain aesthetic, not always having to tell a story. At the same time, it seeks the connection with the earthly, with the human and his passions, with a non-structure and transgression.

In the beginning, two schools can be distinguished, the American and the European school. In the American school, names such as the pioneers Isadora Duncan and Loïe Fuller stand out, and their subsequent followers and creators of new techniques such as Ruth Saint Denis, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, José Limón or Alvin Ailey. On the other hand, among the representatives of the European school are François Delsarte, Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, Rudolf Laban, Mary Wigman, and Pina Bausch, among others.

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