Lyrical Dance History

Save

Lyrical dance fuses ballet, jazz, and modern dance techniques to create a contemporary dance style, known for its expressiveness and musicality. A continually evolving art form, lyrical choreographers and dancers historically adapted existing dance steps and poses to suit new, modern music. Its entertaining, emotive qualities, along with its prominence in popular media, propelled lyrical dance to popularity in the 21st century.

Ballet Foundations

  • Lyrical dance technique can trace its roots directly to the Russian Vagonava method of classical ballet. Developed by Agrippina Vaganova in the first half of the 20th century, the Vaganova method focuses on back strength and the fluidity of the arms. When lyrical dance first appeared in its contemporary form in the 1970s and 1980s, it borrowed the flowing arms and powerful "port de bras" (meaning "carriage of the arms") from Vaganova's method to communicate the emotion or story of a piece of music.

Jazz and Modern Influences

  • U.S. jazz and modern dance contributed immensely to the stylistic elements of lyrical dance. In the mid-20th century, Martha Graham--one of the principal developers of modern dance--began experimenting with the abilities of bodies to convey great ranges of emotion through sharp, angular movements. Meanwhile, jazz dance leaped from social dance floors to the Broadway stage where it became just as important as dialog in telling a show's story. This artistic approach to dance helped shape lyrical dance in later decades.

Lyrical Dance Emerges

  • Lyrical dance emerged as a new art form after the cultural changes of the 1970s. Dancers wanted new ways to convey a wide range of human emotion through movement, rather than relying on the precision of classical ballet or the abstract quality of modern dance. Dancers choreographed dances to popular songs and began using the phrase "lyrical" to describe the practice of creating movements directly inspired by the lyrics of a piece of music.

Lyrical Dance as a Distinct Style

  • As lyrical dance gained popularity in the 1990s, dance teachers struggled with whether to include the new style in studio curricula, alongside jazz, modern and ballet. Some argued that lyrical should be taught only as a variation on ballet and jazz, rather than as a separate entity. Other teachers began teaching lyrical dance classes separately from ballet. By the early 2000s some of the world's most prominent dance studios such as the Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway offered classes in lyrical dance.

Lyrical Dance in Popular Culture

  • Fox's reality show "So You Think You Can Dance?," which premiered in 2005, regularly features lyrical dancers and choreographers such as Mia Michaels. The visually impressive leaps, turns and acrobatics featured on the show helped push lyrical dance to new levels of physical difficulty. Celine Dion also incorporated lyrical dance into her show, "A New Day," which ran in Las Vegas from 2003 to 2007. Its prevalence on stage and television has made lyrical dance a favorite with dance audiences worldwide.

Related Searches

References

  • Photo Credit ejercicios image by caironbohemio from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • About Jazz Dance History

    Jazz dance started out as something totally different from what we see today. Its roots lie in tap dancing and moving to...

  • The History of We Wish You a Merry Christmas

    Most of our traditional Christmas carols hold deeply religious meaning, but some like, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," have a more...

  • How to Choreograph a Lyrical Dance

    Lyrical dances show expression, mood and often tell a story. Choreographers can create beautiful, flowing lyrical dances or sad, serious dances. The...

  • How to Do Lyrical Dance

    Lyrical dancing is a very beautiful flowing style of dance that incorporates ballet, jazz and modern dancing. It is most commonly seen...

  • Lyrical Costume Ideas

    Lyrical dance dresses are a popular choice for dance troupes because they are designed to accentuate the form and movement of the...

  • Different Leaps in Dance

    Jumps and leaps add elements of surprise, danger and gymnastic dazzle to dance routines. A well-executed leap can leave an impact on...

  • What Is Contemporary Dance?

    Contemporary dance is a compilation of different styles of dance, including lyrical, classical ballet and modern dance. Understand the definition of contemporary...

  • What Is Lyrical Dance?

    Lyrical dance fuses modern ballet and jazz techniques together to create a very unique performance, and it is often narrative in nature....

Related Searches

Check It Out

12 Tiki Essentials to Turn Your Bar Cart Into a Tropical Paradise

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!