Jazz Dance History - Mrs. Sbragia's Classroom Connection
Jazz Dance History Jazz Unit Ms Kelly September 2016 Timeline and Styles http://prezi.com/k2udivqboy7p/?utm_campai gn=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share History of Jazz www.buzzle.com http://www.buzzle.com/articles/history-of-jaz z-dance.html Jazz is an African-American vernacular dance form, choreographed to the beats of a musical art form, which developed around the
beginning of the 19th century. Movement influences Jazz dancing involves movements that are specially choreographed to West-African music compositions. The movements are termed as jazz, which is basically an umbrella term, and set to 'blues' notes, polyrhythms, improvisations, the 'swung' note, and syncopation. The Jazz form of dancing actually relates to several dance styles that are related, such as ballet, tap, and the African-American rhythms-and-dance styles. Origins of Jazz Jazz originated in the late 1800s. The trend caught on by the mid 1900s. Till the 1950s, jazz dancing was largely
referred to as tap dancing, because of the routines set to jazz music. The Jazz Age was characterized by the popularity of dance forms such as the Cakewalk, Charleston, Jitterbug, Black Bottom, Boogie Woogie, and the Lindy Hop. These styles developed at various venues, and were excellently executed by dedicated enthusiasts, who made even the most simplest step look quite elaborate. African Influence In the early 1800s, when slavery existed in many parts of the world, slave trade was a popular business. It is this slave trade that led to the origination of jazz dance. In African culture, people used to dance in celebration of birth, puberty, marriage, and even death. Slaves danced as a form of interpretation of life. Their dance was primarily coordinated by drum beats.
These slaves were taken to various regions like West Indies and America, and this is how jazz reached the American lands. Contribution - African music generally accents the second and the fourth beat that gives a rebounding feeling, and thus, the 'swinging movement' was formed. The other major contribution of African influence are the polyrhythmic movements, in which individual body parts are moved according to different beats. The Role of the Church In America, slaves were not allowed to dance, by the Protestant Church. The Church strongly disapproved of any form of dance, by passing the Slave Act, as they thought dancing was sinful. (similar to hula) They banned the use of African drums in any dance form. French and Spanish Catholics did allow slaves to dance to keep them happy and physically fit. Thus, the dances in these regions regained most of the African flavor, that the dances in America lacked. The ban did not suppress the African slaves' interest in dancing. It is
during this period that the use of violins (fiddle), quills, and banjos were made while dancing. Contribution - Due to the ban on drums, the same effect was created by foot tapping, stamping, and hand-clapping, that later formed an inseparable part of modern jazz dance. Origins of Jazz in America African dances were banned so, the white owners, who found the dance to be a recreational activity, started to paint their faces black and perform the slave dance. This blackface dancing became popular, and later on proved to be a major turning stone in the evolution of jazz dance. Dances that were performed at plantations were considered holy or religious. The plantation owners, under the influence of European culture, started the
Americanized version of the slave dance. (appropriation of slave dance and culture) Minstrel Shows The number of white dancers performing the slave dance increased around the 1850s to 1900s. Dance troupes traveled to various towns and performed minstrel shows. In these shows, white dancers portrayed an African-American as an idiot, or someone who had a dandy appearance. The popular imitation of the slavery dance was made by Thomas Rice, in the dance 'Jump Jim Crow'. African-Americans found it extremely difficult to find a place in the troupes. Thus, most of them migrated to Europe in search of job opportunities. Contribution - Though the minstrel shows were not completely based on African traditions, they still did contribute to the evolution of jazz. The movements like cakewalk, jig dancing, and the essence, are a result of these
shows. Birth of Theatrical Jazz The minstrel shows made way for ballroom dances Songs were written by African-American composers. Animal dances like the Turtle Trot, the Monkey Glide, the Bunny Hug, etc., became popular even in the high society. The Turtle Trot was performed in the Broadway musical 'the Sunshine Girl', by Irene and Vernon Castle. The other dance form that became popular was musical comedies. Different jazz dance steps were performed in these musicals, and the popularity of jazz increased across the world. (charleston, shimme, etc.) Change in Musical Genre
With the change in dance steps, the genre of jazz music also changed. Dixieland jazz music, which had a fast-paced beat, was used in many dancer performances. Many famous composers of that era started to create music for such dance performances. Post World War II, jazz music underwent many changes. Rhythmic beats were replaced by complex and improvised music. Jazz dancers found it difficult to fit in steps for such kind of music, and the decline of jazz dance, in its purest and original form, began. The introduction of 20% federal tax on the dance floors added to the decline of jazz dance. Contribution - Swing music by Louis Armstrong, and the Charleston dance, became the basis of popular movements of modern jazz dance. Bill Robinson, an African-American tap dancer, improvised the foot-tapping movement by using just the ball of the foot, rather than the full foot. This technique is still used by dancers across the world. Dances like Lindy Hop and Boogie Woogie became popular during this era.
Famous Jazz Musicians Louis Armstrong Duke Ellington Billy Holiday Nina Simone Ella Fitzgerald https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= pJHHAXvx878 (Duke Ellington Nutcracker
Suite) Father of Modern Jazz Jack Cole saved the dying jazz dance. Before, jazz dances were performed by untrained dancers, and Cole created his
own unique dancing style. He studied ballet, modern and ethnic dance forms, and was highly influenced by East Indian dance forms. He started as a choreographer in nightclubs, and then became the biggest name in the world of jazz. Christmas Eve 1937, at a New York nightclub, he showcased some authentic East Indian dance steps on jazz music. This was an instant hit with the audience, and this dance was labeled as the 'Hindu Swing'. This marked the birth of the 'Cole Style' of jazz. He did choreograph a lot of Broadway shows, but never had a hit show to his credit. Contribution - The Cole Style was a mix of East Indian, flamenco, and Lindy dance forms. His style was termed as the 'urban folk dance'. Plie was largely used in his dances along with the second and fourth positions. His dances involved a lot of floor work and torso movements. The sensuality factor of jazz was enhanced by him.
Notable directors, dancers, and choreographers Michael Bennett, director, writer, choreographer, and dance r who was a tony award winner. ChoreographedA Chorus Line and Dream Girls. Busby Berkley, movie choreographer in the 1930s and 1940s famous for geometric pattern and kaleidoscopic arrangements Jack Cole, considered the father of jazz dance technique. He was a key inspiration to Matt Mattox, Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Gwen Verdon, and many other choreograp hers. He is credited with popularizing the theatrical form of j azz dance with his great number of choreographic works on television and
Eugene Louis Facciuto (a.k.a. "Luigi"), an accomplished dancer who, after suffering a crippling automobile accident in the 1950s, created a new style of jazz dance based on the warm-up exercises he invented to circumvent his physical handicaps. The exercise routine he created for his own rehabilitation became the world's first complete technique for learning jazz dance. Bob Fosse, a noted jazz choreographer who created a new form of jazz dance that was inspired by Fred Astaire and the burlesque and vaudeville styles
Patsy Swayze, choreographer and dance instructor, com bining Jazz and Ballet. Swayze founded the Houston Jazz Ballet Company and served as th e ballet's director . Gus Giordano, an influential jazz dancer and choreographer, known for his clean, pr ecise movement qualities . Leon James, authentic Jazz dancers from the 1930s original member of "Whitey's Lindy Hoppers
Gene Kelly, award winning dance film icon. Known for continuing his career for over 60 years. Work can be found in Singin' in the Rain and On the Town . Frankie Manning, Lindy Hop and authentic Jazz dancer and choreographer Norma Miller, known worldwide as the "Queen of Swing" Lindy Hop and authentic Jazz dancer and choreographer
Al Minns, authentic Jazz dancers from the 1930s original member of "Whitey's Lindy Hoppers Jerome Robbins, choreographer for a number of hit musicals, including Peter Pan, The King and I, Fiddler on the Roof, Gypsy, Funny Girl, and West Side Story. Gwen Verdon, known for her roles in Damn Yankees, Chicago, and Sweet Charity. David Winters known for his role as A-Rab in West Side Story and as an award-winning choreographer for movies and TV programs.
References Barnes, Clive (Aug 2000). "Who's Jazzy Now?". Dance Magazine: 90. Barnes, Clive. Attitudes. Dance Magazine. Aug. 2004: 98. Web. Carter, Curtis. "Improvisation in Dance." The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 58, no. 2, 181-90. Accessed April 24, 2015. jstor.org. Boross, Bob (Aug 1999). "All That's Jazz.". Dance Magazine: 54. Hayes, Hannah. Educators Make a Case for Keeping the History Alive in the Studio. Dance Teacher. Sep. 2009: 58. Web. Katherine Dunhams Brilliant Legacy. The Art of Dance. WordPress.com, 13 Dec 2009. Web. 1 May 2012 http://theartofdance.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/katherine-dunham%E2%80%99s-brilliant-legacy/ A New Orleans Jazz History, 1895-1927. New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, Louisiana, April 5, 2015, accessed April 4, 2015. Crease, Robert. "Divine Frivolity: Hollywood Representations of the Lindy Hop, 1937-1942." In Representing Jazz. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995. "Streetswings Dance History Archives: Funky Butt". Sonny Watson's Street Swing. Retrieved 26 April 2015. Reid, Molly. New Orleans a Haven for Swing Dance Beginners, Professionals. The Times-Picayune, January 21, 2010,
accessed April 26, 2015. White, Ariel. Jazz Movers and Shakers. Dance Spirit. Sep. 2008: 101. Web. "Jack Cole: Jazz (documentary)". Dance Films Association. Retrieved 9 May 2011. Jack Cole. Dance Heritage. Dance Heritage Coalition, n.d. Web. 1 May 2012. http://www.danceheritage.org/cole.html  "History of Jazz Dance". Buzzle.com. Buzzle.com. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013. http://www.dancestudiolife.com/2008/12/all-thats-jazz/
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