5 Characteristics of a Contemporary Dance


In the following article, we will be discussing 5 main characteristics of Contemporary Dance. This was named after choreographer and teacher Merce Cunningham. This style focused on the structure of the body in rhythm, space and articulation. Cunningham uses the idea of the body’s own “line of energy” to promote natural and easy movement.

5 Characteristics of a Contemporary Dance

1. Graham :

This was named after Martha Graham. This style basically focuses on the use of contraction, release, recovery, and fall. Graham is distinguished by floor work and the use of pelvic and abdominal contractions. The style is much grounded and the technique is visibly contrary to the slender and graceful, airborne ideals of ballet.

2. Limon :


This was named after Jose Limon. It involves exploring the use of energy in relation to gravity and working with weight in terms of rebound, fall, suspension and recovery. Limon technique uses the feeling of “heavy energy” and weight in the body, and movement is initiated using breath to lift, and swings through the body to create and halt movement and thus it feels very nice to perform.

3. Release :



Placing emphasis on minimizing tension in the search for fluidity and clarity and the efficient use of breath and energy. In Release technique just as it sounds, we release through the muscles and joints to create ease of movement, releasing the breath to support the release of the body. A dance style as well as a great relaxation technique.

4. Improvisation :

It mainly focuses on the relationship between movements and performance and on the investigation of movements. Development of individual movement material is made possible through a variety of creative explorations.

5. Contact Improvisation :

Contact improvisation describes a duet dance form characterized by fluid movement, weight exchange, and touch. Partners improvise the dance using the natural movement of the body.

Well, this was the end of the article of 5 Characteristics of a Contemporary Dance. These ideas will greatly help to enhance your dancing skills.


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