Contemporary dance began with the movement of new dancers who did not want to follow the strict rules of classical ballet in the beginning of the 1920s, and can be traced with the American pioneer Isadora Duncan (1878–1927), who developed her own style and became an important figure in the arts. Oriented towards creativity, contemporary dance does not stick to fixed moves and instead it unfolds in new forms and dynamics. Dancers and choreographers are focused on the uniqueness of the dance technique, emphasizing freedom of expression through raw emotions, systematic breathing, oppositional moves such as fall and recovery, balance and off-balance, tension and relaxation with shifting alignments. Nevertheless there are elements that all forms of dance or creative movement have in common: body, space, time, energy and shape.
Today the field of contemporary dance feels ripe for innovation and there are dancers, choreographers and companies that are making significant works, shaping the future of the dance world:
Blenard Azizaj – Dancer and choreographer born in Albania. He graduated from the National State School of Athens in 2010 as a dancer and teacher.
He has worked and collaborated with various companies such as the Hellenic Dance Company in Greece, Sasha Waltz & Guests in Berlin, the Akram Khan Company in London, and Cie Linga in Lausanne.
Sharon Eyal – Choreographer and dancer born in Israel. From 1990 to 2008 she danced in the Batsheva Dance Company. She is the Co-Founder, Co-Artistic director and choreographer of L-E-V, with a repertoire of currently seven creations, the most recent one ‘’Love Chapter 3: The Brutal Journey of the Heart’’, premiered at Ruhrtriennale in Bochum in Germany.
Oona Doherty – Dancer and choreographer born in Ireland. She has been creating and performing internationally since 2010 with companies such as TRASH in the Netherlands, Abattoir Ferme in Belgium, Veronika Riz in Italy, Emma Martin/United Fall & Enda Walsh and Landmark Productions in Ireland. In 2021 she was awarded the La Biennale Di Venezia’s Silver Lion for dance.
Euripides Laskaridis – Choreographer and performer, stage director and filmmaker born in Greece. He is a creator of atmosphere through characters who transform themselves unexpectedly on the stage. Marked by ridicule, his work is unconventional and non-linear. In 1998 he was nominated as the Best Actor at the Greek Theater Critics Association Awards, in 2009 he founded the Osmosis Theater Company, and in 2016 Euripides was awarded an inaugural Pina Bausch Fellowship.
Imre van Opstal and Marne van Opstal – Choreographers and performing artists. The Dutch born siblings creative duo have been top dancers at the prestigious Batsheva Dance Company in Israel and at the Nederlands Dans Theater, before deciding to pursue their own creative career and focus on choreographing dance performances.
Text by Maria Nitulescu