What’s trending in dance?

I’ve been thinking about what’s new in dance.

Dance is an art form that tends to hang on to traditional modes of presentation. Dance is comfortable  with the coexistence of multiple historic genres, e.g. of classicism (classical ballet), modern (modern/contemporary dance), and jazz (in all its styles) all supported happily by both the profession and audiences.

Dance lends itself to a fusion of styles as well, so elements of different genres mix in various artist’s works. Contemporary choreographers have made their stylistic mark on the dance world through repertoire that does the rounds of elite dance companies.

But I am looking for dance that thrives in today’s world of social media where music, fashion, gender and politics blend and blur.

Yanis Marshall’s latest video upload on VIMEO is a jazz-genre ‘street’-style 3-man bop on So You Think You Can Dance, Ukraine. And Yanis performs in his trademark high heels to pop music (Beyonce).

Yanis brands himself effectively as a choreographer, dancer and teacher and then markets that brand globally. He uses online media to bring his dance brand to the world. This is in sharp contrast to the concept of the dance ‘company’. it will be interesting to see whether in coming years there is a proliferation of individual dance artists receiving global recognition in this way.

What I love about dance

I love that dance is visual and non-verbal (most of the time). I love the way bodies in space make momentary meaning, glimpses of ideas, spirit and soul, which are lost before you realise what they are. I love the transitory nature of dance, and yet the body memory that lasts forever.

I love the rhythm, sweat and humour of dance. I love pretty much any style of dance, but I want to see unique takes on style. I don’t like watching or performing repetitive movements. I am only interested in individual and creative works and that’s why I am so interested in choreography and the building blocks of creating dance.

I am passionate about dance in education. Not dance in private studios, although of course this has a place, if studio dance is taught well. But more importantly, every young person should have the opportunity to learn dance (how to dance, how to create dance and how to view and understand dance). This can only be done in schools, and for free. If all young people learnt about dance, there is more chance they would have physical confidence, cultural understanding, enhanced imagination and creativity and increased interpersonal skills. I love that dance educates the body, the mind and the spirit.