Melanie George

Educator, Choreographer, Dramaturg, Scholar

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Photos by Gracie Corapi

Jazz Is... Etudes

Jazz Is.. Etudes are short repertory pieces designed for an immersive experience in a jazz dance style or concept. Signature movement is paired with a genre and era specific music selection, emphasizing a historical perspective. Particpants are provided accompanying research packets and annotated bibliographies for further study.  Etudes can be utilized for classroom or performance experiences.


Motown Etude 

Kent Dance Ensemble performs the Motown Etude. Photo by Robert Christie.

Kent Dance Ensemble performs the Motown Etude. Photo by Robert Christie.

This  etude focuses on the elements of vocal choreography (in the style of Cholly Atkins) combined with movement vocabulary from African-American sacred,  social and concert dance. As with vocal choreography, each dancer assumes the role of featured and background performer. Designed for lessons exploring jazz and vernacular dance of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. This etude can be taught to large or small groups.

Choreography: Melanie George

Music: The Jackson 5

Length: 4:02


Mingus Etude

This solo etude, excerpted from a larger work, is designed to develop skills in dancing and interpreting jazz music. The three sections of the solo focus on different musical elements through movement - syncopation and accent, counterpoint and stillness, and minimalism and improvisation. 

Choreography: Melanie George

Music: Charles Mingus

Length: 3:08


Contact info@jazzisdanceproject for further info or to schedule a Jazz Is... Etude workshop.