City, Culture Entwined Chicago's Ties to Jazz Resurface with Return of World Dance Festival
Morgan, Scott C., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Scott C. Morgan Daily Herald Staff Writer
The Jazz Dance World Festival
Where: Harris Theater for Music and Dance at Millennium Park, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (6:15 p.m. for optional pre-show dance competitions). A detailed schedule of dance companies and works can be found at www.jazzdanceworldcongress.org
Phone: (312) 344-7777
Jazz and Chicago will forever be entwined. Chicago's jazz music history stretches back to the 1920s, and there will always be Kander and Ebb's iconic song "All That Jazz" from the musical "Chicago."
Another unique jazz/Chicago tie-in slinks into the spotlight next week when the Jazz Dance World Festival returns to its original stomping grounds. The 2005 Jazz Dance World Festival features four different performances, each featuring a mix of homegrown, national and international jazz dance companies and artists.
Staged three times before in Evanston in the 1990s and last seen in Chicago in 2002, the Jazz Dance World Festival has also been staged in cities throughout the United States and overseas. This year's festival features Japanese, French, Italian and U.S. jazz dance companies.
"This was one of my father's dreams that has come true," said Nan Giordano, artistic director of the hosting and founding festival company Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. As the daughter of pioneering jazz dance choreographer Gus Giordano, Nan says his idea of a world festival "has done immense things for jazz dance and elevated its credibility as an artistic dance form."
For Joel Hall, artistic director of Chicago-based Joel Hall Dancers, the Jazz Dance World Festival gives audiences a chance to see jazz dance away from its typical "commercial" surroundings.
"For most people, they only get the opportunity to see jazz dance in a commercial place like on TV or on Broadway," said Hall, who has his piece "Y2 Day" featured in the Aug. 4 performance. "This gives people the opportunity to see jazz dance in a concert context."
Giordano says jazz dance incorporates all kinds of dance forms with a huge entertainment factor, freeing it from the formalized rules and movement languages of ballet and some modern dance. …