Magazine article Dance Magazine

Jazzed in July: JDWC Carries On

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Jazzed in July: JDWC Carries On

Article excerpt

The international celebration of the American style of jazz dance, the Jazz Dance World Congress, hosted by Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, returns this month. Since the Congress' founding in 1990, the biennial event welcomes dancers from as many as 35 countries through classes, performances, and competitions. This year they have some new additions to the lineup and a new partnership with four universities.

Participants include Buffalo's LehrerDance, Japan's Masashi Action Machine, Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theatre, Mexico's Cuerpo Etereo Danza Contemporanea, and Koresh Dance Company of Philadelphia. The Congress also features hometown favorites like the Joel Hall Dancers, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, River North Chicago Dance Company, and of course Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago.

The Congress has a packed schedule of daytime classes and nightly performances in downtown Chicago's Millennium Park. Current GJDC dancer Maeghan McHale was introduced to the company through the Congress back in 2003. She performed in a piece that her sister had choreographed for the Leo's competition. Being at the Congress opened McHale's eyes to a career opportunity. "When I saw the company perform the first night, I was hooked. I felt it was a good fit for me." When she returned to the Congress in 2005, she auditioned and received a scholarship to the Giordano Dance School.

McHale says that JDWC is a fertile ground for building connections within the jazz world. "Congress is an amazing experience," she says. "It's also a great place to establish your name and your work. That's how so many people have been able to make connections and have started relationships with different schools and companies from around the world."

In 2009, the event looks to expand its reach even further. For the first time, JDWC is offering special auditions for college dance programs and scholarships. …

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