National conference connects past, present and future of jazz dance
A national jazz dance conference created by Lindsay Guarino, assistant professor in the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, will be held on campus July 31-Aug. 3. “Jazz Dance: Roots and Branches in Practice,” is being co-hosted by the National Dance Education Organization, the largest dance organization in the country.
The conference will look at jazz dance broadly through movement workshops and conversations, inviting dialogue that connects the past, present and future of jazz.
“The conference is unique in that it is the first national jazz dance conference of its type, and it is exciting for me personally because it was inspired by my textbook that was published in early 2014,” Guarino said. “The conference is possibly one of the most important things I’ve done for the Salve Regina dance program. It’s helping me to give the program a unique identity in jazz dance – something very different from other dance programs across the country.”
Jazz dance today is somewhat of an enigma, meaning different things to different people. Some are loyal to the authentic jazz of the Jazz Era, when dance and music were inseparable entities that stood firmly in West African roots while reflecting the American spirit. Others identify jazz dance as a theatrical style, heavily reliant on ballet-based movement and suited for Broadway and concert dance stages. Still others see jazz as a commercial form of dance that reflects popular culture while absorbing myriad global influences. The conference is designed to decipher the true meaning of jazz as it embodies so many seemingly contradictory personalities.
Special guest presenters will include Bob Boross, Danny Buraczeski, Thom Cobb, Moncell Durden, Melanie George, Karen Hubbard, Darwin Prioleau, Billy Siegenfeld and Sheron Wray.
For more information, or to register, visit the conference website.