Jazz Is... Dance Project
Workshops and Presentations Offered
Neo-Jazz Sampler: An introduction to neo-jazz technique, investigating weight, isolation, rhythm & syncopation, footwork, improvisation, jazz music, and community building.
Jazz Dance Improvisation: Students explore tools for developing effective jazz dance improvisation (and how they differ from improvising in modern dance). Movement principles utilize Laban Movement Analysis and jazz music theory for a wider variety of movement textures and performance qualities.
Jazz Dance Styles: This class focuses on identifying the elements of jazz dance styles to develop a more versatile and expressive jazz dancer. The class may focus on historical styles (Matt Mattox, 40s swing, 70s funk, 80s video dance) or contemporary styles. Laban Movement Analysis is utilized in the teaching of movement phrases and repertory to develop accuracy and clarity in performance.
Mastery of the Moment (co-presented with Dr. Marc Medwin): While jazz music and jazz dance demonstrate similar feeling, they are united by the multifarious art of improvisation. Using a combination of important recordings from jazz's history and live demonstrations, Melanie George and Marc Medwin present important improvisational concepts that jazz music and dance developed in tandem. Employing stylistic reference, quotation and the changing vocabularies of movement and sound show the progression of jazz from entertainment toward art and artistic freedom.
Personal Cool and the Art of the Walk: An exploration of simple and complex jazz walks as way to develop a personal signature in jazz dance performance. Weight, footwork, syncopation, and improvisation are emphasized.