Raise your hand if you've ever had a clueless (but well-meaning) friend ask you to explain contemporary dance. Raise your hand if you've ever had a friend avoid your performances because she was afraid she wouldn't "get" it. Good, so...everyone?
As you know, your DS editors are diehard dance nerds, and we never miss out on an opportunity to get more people excited about dance. Defining and explaining dance styles is one of the ways we define and explain ourselves as artists, but it can feel completely futile when you're talking to someone who doesn't know a tendu from a tilt.
Cue London's The Place and their GENIUS new series of animated shorts that help dance n00bs understand what contemporary dancers are trying to say when they do freaky things like roll on the ground or pull their leg behind their head. We love it when dance and animation go together, and this is even more spectacular because it's beautiful and educational.
The first video introduces an unfamiliar visitor to "Planet Dance," where there are two hemispheres: Social Dance and Performance Dance. Contemporary dance is located in the Performance Dance hemisphere, along with its neighbors ballet, street dance, etc.
The following three videos cover what The Place calls Body Talk—that is, how to communicate with a dancer when she doesn't use words. Think of it as your go-to cheat sheet for the next time a friend tries to dodge your shows. Remind her that she already has a lot of tools to appreciate performance, and then sit her down in front of one of these (GENIUS) videos.