Often I am asked to define, as a dance company, what exactly is ProArteDanza? My first instinct is to define what we are not, what we don’t do. We aren’t a ballet company because we do not do the classics. However we do use ballet and adapted ballet vocabulary for most of our choreography, because of this we do not define ourselves as a modern company. So what exactly are we? The most appropriate definition is that we are a contemporary ballet company. What is Contemporary Ballet?
Contemporary dance is where multiple languages of movement and performance come together and merge to create something new. It is challenging to arrive at a final definition because it is always changing and adapting as influences are fused, new styles are developed or new forms are introduced. For ProArteDanza, we have chosen the foundation of Ballet as a springboard to build our movement and theatrical language, and to create our conversation with the audience. So perhaps this is why we refer to our company as a contemporary ballet company, though ballet is not the only thing that is driving our creative process. We are also influenced by contemporary thought, expression and aesthetics that we see in the cultures around us.
The conversation of defining “contemporary” dance has been a long and ongoing process. One of the best explanations I have ever heard however is a video clip, which was created by The Place in London, England. This clip was made as a guide to “planet dance” where visitors are walked through the cultural and aesthetic landscapes of dance and introduced to the fluid, ever changing world that we, as dancers, live in. I hope you enjoy this clip as much as I did.