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Contemporary dance is a genre of dance performance that developed during the mid twentieth century and has since grown to become one of the dominant genres for formally trained dancers throughout the world, with particularly strong popularity in the U.S. and Europe.
Although originally inspied by classical, modern, and jazz styles, it has since come to incorporate elements from many styles of dance. Due to its similarities, it is often thought to be closely related to modern dance, ballet, and other classical concert dance styles.
Contemporary dance tends to combine the strong but controlled legwork of ballet with modern that stresses on torso. It also uses the floor work, fall and recovery, and improvisation characteristics of modern dance.
Unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed, and direction are often used, as well. Additionally, contemporary dance sometimes incorporates elements of non-western dance cultures, such as elements from African dance including bent knees, or movements from the Japanese contemporary dance, Butoh.