“Dance to be danced, not analyzed” — Merce Cunningham (1919 – 2009) American dancer & choreographer
The widespread popularity of contemporary dance among audiences and dancers is likely due to the creative freedom of movement and expression it allows as it incorporates different styles and techniques of dance. Drawing on classical ballet and modern dance as well as non-western cultural dances, contemporary dance is unpredictable and constantly evolving with changes in rhythm, speed and direction, costuming and music, and a performance can be in the abstract or a narrative form.
If you’ve never seen a contemporary dance performance, here’s a great chance at an introduction to the experience. Really, there’s nothing you have to understand about contemporary dance. Just enjoy.
Ceyda Tanc, artistic director and founder of Brighton-based dance theater company, Ceyda Tanc Dance, creates cutting-edge, dynamic contemporary dance influenced by her Turkish heritage with an aim to make her work accessible for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Her new work, KAYA, is an exploration of the “human experience of displacement, drawing on the strength and resilience of those searching for belonging in a new community”. KAYA is also a personal story as it’s based on the village of Kaya* in Turkey where Ceyda spent time as a child and became interested in its history. Unique movements were developed for the dance that fuse traditional Turkish folk dance with contemporary styles, and Ceyda challenges gender stereotypes by utilising the virtuoso movements of male Turkish dancers for her all-female company, conveying striking shapes and an emotive and sensual energy.
If you missed the live stream broadcast of Ceyda Tanc Dance company’s performance of KAYA at the Theater Royal during the 2018 Brighton Festival, there’s still time to watch a video recording. Just click/tap the “Watch Again” button on the media player below ↓
What’s Contemporary Dance These Days? by Rebecca Martin, Dance Magazine – Australia edition
Ceyda Tanc Dance – works, upcoming performances, classes and classes
2018 Brighton Festival (May 5-27) – an annual celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and family events – taking place in venues within the city of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, on the south coast of England
Visit Brighton – visitor information and travel guide
*Kaya, Turkey was at one time home to a Greek community that was forcefully removed from the village in the early 1920’s as part of a “population exchange” agreement between the governments of Greece and Turkey. Close to 2 million people were made refugees and denaturalized from their homelands. The village of Kaya became a ghost town, and its population was recorded at 1,524 in the year 2000. [Wikipedia: Kaya, Fethiye; Population exchange between Greece and Turkey]
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Feature photo of dancer is a screen clip from KAYA video