An Edge-ucation in Contemporary Dance

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to visit EDge, the post graduate company of London Contemporary Dance School, during their rehearsals at The Place in London.

I arrived a little late due to a series of unfortunate public transport events and so was ushered into a room where I sat, watching the dancers already in the full swing of rehearsals.

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Contemporary dance is a genre which emerged in the mid twentieth century. It’s a growing form that allows dancers and choreographers to ‘break the rules’ of more traditional forms of dance. It’s often compared to ballet but without the frills. EDge are a company that takes full advantage of the freedom of contemporary dance, using their bodies, faces and voices to create not only a beautiful dance, but a piece of entertaining, interesting theatre.

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As I sat, quietly observing the way they work and interact, I noticed that they were communicating in a series of onomatopoeias – they would ‘whoosh’ ‘zip’ and ‘tap’ as they explained how  each movement felt to them. It was amazing how simply saying ‘it feels like a whoosh when it should be a zoom’ entirely changed the way the movements appeared, the dancers would transform with such a simple instructions.

My lateness meant that I’d arrived not long before their lunch break so I took myself to the nearest café and returned to find one or two of the dancers sitting, chatting outside the studio. I joined them an introduced myself, explaining that I was from The Courtyard where they would be performing at the end of April.

All the dancers seemed so committed to the company and to contemporary dance as a form. The majority of the company had moved to the UK to train at The Place and are completing masters alongside rehearsing and touring.

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Being so committed and working in such a tight knit group that has borderline invented their own language means that sometimes the conversations they were having might be considered – dare I say it – pretentious. I understood what they were talking about, having my own background in contemporary performance, but I also know that it’s one of the reasons people veer away from contemporary art. However, I can only urge people to give it a go! Contemporary dance is just like every other kind of dance – you just have to sit, watch and enjoy. The performers probably want to challenge or inform you but ultimately it’s about your entertainment.

If you’re interested in seeing EDge2015 check out our website or call the Box Office on 01432 340555