- 1 living or occurring at the same time: ‘the event was recorded by a contemporary historian’
1.1 dating from the same time: ‘this series of paintings is contemporary with other works in an early style’
- 2 belonging to or occurring in the present: ‘the tension and complexities of our contemporary society’
2.1 following modern ideas in style or design: ‘contemporary ceramics by leading potters’
As we approach the start of Juncture 2014, we find ourselves using the phrase “a festival of contemporary movement, theatre and film work” a lot, here in the office. Really, a lot.
Some of the Yorkshire Dance staff were having lunch last week, talking about dance-jargon. You know, words like ‘platform’, and whether they mean anything to people outside the dance world.
Then we started talking about the word ‘contemporary’, and whether it means anything more than ‘happening now’ in the context of dance and other performing arts.
Does something we see today stop being contemporary in time? If so, how long might it take?
Isn’t anything, made in any era, contemporary at the time of its making? If so, what’s the point in using the word at all?
With all the different approaches to dance that it has to embrace, isn’t it a pointlessly inadequate word, at best?
Tell us. What does ‘contemporary’ mean to you?