Saturday, July 16, 2011

Youtube Best of the Best: Contemporary

Contemporary is my style. My favorite style. Which is strange, because just about anything can fit under the category "contemporary." By nature, I'm a lyrical dancer. Soft & flowy is my thing. But I feel contemporary the style where I can best express myself and still be constantly challenged by the movement quality.

Ahhh! Okay, sorry, off topic. I'd have to say a lot of these videos are from various friends as well. I did discover a few of them though...! So here are my favorite Youtube videos/dancers/artists/choreographers under the style of Contemporary:

Mallauri Esquibel - Fame Dance Solo "Try"
This one's first for a reason. Not only does her body bend totally inhuman-like, but the filmography is amazing. This one's made for film, and it shows. The way it's filmed enhances the music, dancing, and intention of the whole piece. Beautiful.

Nathan Makolandra - Riot Rhythm
This is ri-di-cu-lous. Choreographed and danced by Juilliard students, of course it promises to be amazing. But with this crazy (awesome) piece of music, almost-but not really canons, and use of movement repetition within the piece, it's even better. Plus: do you know NYCDA (now that I've mentioned it 100000 times)? Cory Barnette (green top) was the National Senior for 2010. Sick!

Travis Wall for SYTYCD (Jason and Jeanine) - If It Kills Me
Ever since competing on SYTYCD, Travis Wall has been on fire. He's taken the dance world by storm, and we don't know what hit us. For this video, I chose my favorite piece of his from SYTYCD - and it's still the first. If It Kills Me is gorgeous in every way.

Travis Wall - So Surreal
This dance is made even more crazy because I saw it in person. It's creepy, its use of props is awesome, and the dancing is hardcore. Just as a side note, the mannequins that never move in the background are real mannequins. Just in case you were wondering. Not to bombard you with another video, but It's Gonna Be A Long Walk is pretty awesome too (but the lighting makes it kind of impossible to watch).

Sonya Tayeh - Lucy Schwartz's "Graveyard"
I love it when singers do more than just sing, but I particularly admire Lucy Schwartz for dancing the way she does in her videos. And I had to include Sonya on the list somewhere! Here's the behind the scenes dance version if you're interested in the full choreography. If you like Lucy Schwartz, the Gravity music video is pretty cool too. Or if you like Sonya, I loved The Garden from SYTYCD.

Mia Michaels - Gravity (addiction)
Another piece from SYTYCD. I don't know if this is my favorite (I definitely like it!) of hers, but I wanted to include it because the intention and motivation of the piece is so clear. And because it's filmed so close up that you can see the emotions on the dancers' faces, which I think is important.

Emily Shock - No Place Like Home
Almost everything Emily Shock (Applause Studios) touches is gold, but I love this piece the most. Especially the beginning, because stillness is something that's just as powerful as movement, when done correctly. Also, to fit all those dancers on the stage and use the intricate movement and layering that she did? Brilliance.

Destini Rogers - Wrath of We
This is the ultimate in costume directing dance. This is also the ultimate in costume making dancing extremely difficult, but it's pulled off so seamlessly and effortlessly and beautifully that I couldn't leave it off. Prepare to be amazed. Like the above, this is also from Applause Studios.

Jessica Hendricks for Ida Saki - Schindler's List
Inhuman. Beautiful. I have no words. If you remember Ida from auditioning for SYTYCD, this is the full version of the piece she used. Ida won NYCDA National Senior 2009 with this piece.

Kate Jablonski - everything she does...
But okay, I have four favorites. Off the Rails, Stay, The Moment I Said It, and Lie in Our Graves. Stylistically reminiscent of Emily Shock, but innovative in her own way. Amazing. The last one, I'll warn you, it's very country-western (as in music and dance style). But the use of the prop....makes it so worth watching.

Bret Easterling - Die Alone
Another Juilliard choreographer for Juilliard students. Enter gesture dancing! Shows that dance can be interesting, emotional, and moving without movement of the entire body. The same piece as performed by the Teen Dance Company shows you that you don't have to be a Juilliard student to make this work.

rachi22 - dance is my boyfriend.
I thought I'd like to end with someone who isn't famous, not even on Youtube, but someone who I think should be recognized! Pieces of this dancing and choreography are beautiful and inspired parts of my own choreography, I know. I wish I knew more about her! Update: my best friend pointed me at this video: a balloon, coming out of a keen city (inspired by an e.e. cummings poem, for you dancing literary worms). You don't have to be famous to be fresh, inspired, and inspirational.

I definitely have more and will probably be sneaking more onto the bottom of this page as I remember them. But enjoy! Hope these videos inspire you as much as they inspired me :)

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