Lyrical and contemporary dance are two popular styles of dance that have gained a lot of popularity in recent times. While both styles can sometimes be categorized under the same umbrella, understanding the difference between these two distinct dance styles is essential for dancers to effectively perform them.

In this article, we will explore what makes lyrical and contemporary dance unique from each other. We’ll look at their histories, techniques, music choices and aesthetic aspects so that anyone who is curious enough or interested in expanding their knowledge on it can gain insight into these beautiful art forms.


The history of lyrical dancing dates back to early 1900s where it was performed through ballets which were more expressive than other genres. It wasn’t only until the late 1970s when jazz choreographer Jack Cole redefined the genre with his signature style called “lyrical jazz”. This allowed for more freedom of movement as opposed to adhering strictly to classic ballet techniques; where emotionality played an incredibly fundamental role.

On the other hand, contemporary dance has roots that go back even further in time. Contemporary Dance was first developed during the 20th century as a way to break free from traditional ballet constraints. In contrast with strict technical requirements like pointed toes and precise posture found within classical Ballet forms instead focused exclusively on storytelling through non-linear narrative movements.



Lyrical uses many techniques found in Classical Ballet such as turnout (position of legs), port de bras (movement of arms) but does not follow all rigorous guidelines required by Ballet. The key aspect differentiating Lyrical from its predecessor genres is its ability blending complex steps with expressionism that often come together due sharp rises & falls absorbing an array emotions set forth by accompanying music; giving room for improvisation also forms part technique-wise mastery needed here too!

Contemporary combines multiple schools into one idea- Jazz Movement Concepts/Modern Improvisation partner work Trisha Brown Technique Graham’s expressive theory Etc.,. The use of floor work is especially profound in this style, making it demanding requiring not only strength but awareness & control over every aspect body positioning significant to an extent where dancers tend move abnormally away from their bodies typical stances.


Music selection tops as great thing that makes Lyrical apart from Contemporary dancing. Dominant genres used by lyrical artists include acoustics, light ballads popular singers like Adele and Norah Jones or sad renditions classic Hollywood scores about forlorn love stories – just as often we see music with power drive pulling at heartstrings via melancholy piano notes violin/cello strings balance rendering seamless connection between dancer movement expression itself.

On the other hand contemporary dance allows a much wider range music choices; including electro-acoustic music world folk traditions- anything new can be tried tested made part oeuvre pushing boundaries further than ever before! Sergei Rachmaninov’s Prelude 23, Nimrod Variation/or Hip hop instrumentals used equally impressive effects ensuring upbeat yet emotionally charged experience never leaving viewer underwhelmed less impressed rather making feel part something grand scale setting stage mind free its constraints inspiring personal creative pathways each individual spectator bring forth through process senses inner self-expressionist movement identifying themselves even more closely with rhythms melodies appreciated on various levels throughout thematically driven performances seen this genre dance culture today!

Aesthetic Aspects:

Aesthetic Aspects:

Lyrical Dance aesthetic emphasizes fluidity and grace in motion across the entire repertoire of performers given appropriate environment space accompanied those heart-rending tunes deeply evocative moods portrayed through most intricate steps allowing highly emotional projections vivid imagination textured perception audience additionally bridging gaps between past present seamlessly intermingling narratives old-new arts. Strengths within personal creativity play major role helping define moments singular purity subtle expressions accompanying passionate movements via partnering stunning lifts complex turns pirouettes adding flying-like sensation sublime beauty showcasing wondrous symphony brought alive by humanity’s power transcendence emotional resolution.

Contemporary Dance aesthetic is more conceptual and can be wordly depicted on stage in various ways. With aspects emphasized depending artist, concept underlying scenario differ greatly from piece to piece – physical release, explosive energy theatrical play narratives journey personal experiences enabling out-of-box perspectives take center stage portraying each character involved multiple layers being peeled away deeper levels consciousness revealed sharing unique accomplishments one profound aspect genre dance culture today!.


In conclusion Lyrical & Contemporary Dance are two genres of dance that might have originated in different parts of the world, yet share several similarities while possessing their defining characteristics which stand apart as hallmarks for distinct greatness analyzed above thoroughly ground up. While they may look similar at first glance given dancers’ emotive expressions but both forms are fundamentally different emphasizing varying sentiments creating movements within body spirits where choreography partners with best music choices create holistic scenic experience aptly expressing vitality allowing audience enjoy live fire sure thrill not forgetting how liberating these beautiful arts alone make us feel; celebrating our lives artfully!