After trawling the internet recently I came across this article from the US Dance Informa magazine (you can find a link to the article at the base of this post). It’s a worthwhile read and raises some interesting points, even if only to posit its title question. One area of contention I have is the statement, “Jazz dance is uniquely American…” You could just as easily state that Ballet, because of its origin, is uniquely Italian. The fact is Jazz dance, the foundations of which is uniquely American, has become a ubiquitous art-form worldwide, and that is a true testament to its appeal and value as a dance form. As Emily Yewell Volin (choreographer and author of the article) states; Jazz is alive and well, rooted in its history, and growing into its future. Soulful, passionate, electric, athletic and virtuosic; you’ll know when you’ve experienced jazz or jazz inspired work. And, it’s likely you’ll leave the concert or class wanting more.
Daniel Ryan – Director of Ignite The Dark a jazz dance company