Contemporary dance, or interpretative dance, or modern dance, or experimental dance, can be a challenging performance medium. If you are watching a performance, what does a particular action mean? What is the message that the dancer and choreographer are sending? I’m happy to say that my comfort level with understanding dance has improved as I continue to enjoy innovative performances by many of Vancouver’s dance artists. Just as with music, the “meaning” of a dance performance can slide under whatever words you might use to express it, and find resonance at a level that is not verbally expressible. Dance is a language that is not my mother tongue, and maybe not yours either, but we can all enjoy movement.
If the lack of certainty troubles you, take a look at the tips given here: http://www.artsalive.ca/en/dan/understand/appreciate/appreciate.asp
You do not have to be an expert to enjoy dance, and you don’t have to be correct either. Just relax and enjoy.
You will have a golden opportunity to enjoy and learn in the Dancing on the Edge Festival, which opens July 3 at the Firehall. You will have a choice of 70 artists, 30 productions, and 10 days to enjoy them, in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. Take a look: