Where to Go: JAZZ DANCE WORLD CONGRESS

By Patrick, K. C. | Dance Magazine, January 1999 | Go to article overview

Where to Go: JAZZ DANCE WORLD CONGRESS


Patrick, K. C., Dance Magazine


JDWC FLIES TO BUFFALO

The Jazz Dance World Congress is more of a congregation of devoted jazz dancers than a legislative body. Since the first gathering of the living pioneers of jazz dance and their students in 1992, the highly successful event has met each August. In even-numbered years the five-day event is held in the United States; then in alternate years the Congress has been hosted by other countries. In 1995 it was in Nagoya, Japan, and in 1997 it was held in Wiesbaden, Germany.

The Jazz Dance World Congress '99 will be held August 4-8 in Buffalo, New York, but it is characterized as a U.S.-Canadian event. Cosponsored by the University of Buffalo Center for the Performing Arts and Gus Giordano, this summer's gathering will be held on campus at UB's new state-of-the-art facility with 250,000 square feet of space that includes a spacious performing space, smaller theaters, and an elaborate athletic complex.

Classes taught by this year's faculty of master teachers are scheduled to be held in the adjoining alumni arena. Faculty will include jazz dance pioneer and founder of the JDWC Gus Giordano, current artistic director Nan Giordano, Joe Tremaine, Frank Hatchett, Patsy Swayze, Joe Lanteri, Randy Duncan, and Patti Obey. Judith Scott, jazz dancer and author of Good-bye to Bad Backs, will once again start each day with a warm-up, stretch-and-strengthen class to ensure dancers are ready for the intensive week and for continuing health. Minimum age for enrollment in classes is thirteen.

The JDWC held in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1998 was the first time that a "kids' class" was offered, and it drew children from all over the world. One remarkably sophisticated and well-traveled youngster from Central America said she liked all her teachers for different reasons, but "1 really want to know more about jumping." The 1999 Congress will continue the classes for children, ages ten to twelve, who will enjoy instruction from all the master faculty, and a few surprises besides.

One advantage of attending this jazz dance intensive is taking class with professional company members. Members of the Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, or Japan's Masashi Action Machine are likely to be improving their skills right next to you in class or in warm-ups.

Evenings are for watching and enjoying the single greatest program of concert jazz dance anywhere in the world. Five evenings of concerts by professional jazz dance companies, many internationally known, are part of the registration package. Of course, afterward there will be plenty of the famous Buffalo wings that the university city is famous for.

Daily matinee performances provide another needed break from classes when the finalists in the Leo's Choreography Competitive Event are adjudicated. …

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