Contemporary — a dance style I’m not particularly used to but have been fascinated with for the longest time. Being exposed to only basic hiphop routines in the past year, leg extensions, extended flowing movements, and even facial expressions while dancing are surprisingly a little bit gawky for me. Nonetheless, it’s something I am keen to plausibly get used to.
Contemporary dance incorporates various unique techniques with borrowed elements from classical, ballet and even jazz. It amazes me how effortless most advanced contemporary dancers are when they perform on stage.
I got in touch with my friend, Vyen Villanueva of REDph (Raw Elements Dance Philippines) to teach me and my sister, Denise, the basics of contemporary dance for a private workshop at Dugout Dance Studio. Vyen was accompanied by her co-coach, Michelle Kawpeng, for a fun dance cover of “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” (originally performed by The Script).
No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you’ve already had. – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Although the overall routine seemed very easy, the truth is — it wasn’t AT ALL (especially if you were only running on barely four hours of sleep.) I already forgot the last time I went out for an exercise, hence I was panting the entire time of the class.
Losing your inhibitions is key to dancing contemporary as it entails a lot of graceful, sophisticated, and (most importantly) unrestrained movements. Unlike hiphop which were primarily about sticking to beats and following the tempo, contemporary on the other hand allows you to present ‘yourself’ as a ball of emotions while swaying with your inner soul.
DON’T FORGET TO CATCH Vyen and Michelle, together with their REDph team, perform in a dance concert (entitled ‘Unveiled by REDph’) on November 27, 2016 at the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo.
Check out my behind the scenes interview with Vyen and Michelle while discussing their dance backgrounds, inspirations, and icons: