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Jazz DanceA History of the Roots and Branches$
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Lindsay Guarino and Wendy Oliver

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049298

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049298.001.0001

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The “Free Style” Jazz Dance of Matt Mattox

The “Free Style” Jazz Dance of Matt Mattox

(p.119) 17 The “Free Style” Jazz Dance of Matt Mattox
Jazz Dance

Bob Boross

University Press of Florida

Beginning as a featured dancer in movie musicals of the 1940s and 1950s and progressing to international status as a dance teacher and choreographer, Mattox has had a significant, worldwide impact on theatrical jazz dance through a career that has spanned 60 years. Mattox’s work often utilizes movement qualities from jazz dance and has been performed mostly in the commercial theater, yet his influences are eclectic and his work surpasses the traditional jazz dance vernacular. His style, which he called “free style,” evolved into a codified technique designed to train dancers in the qualities and precision of ballet, along with the isolation movement characterized by jazz dance. In 1970 Mattox moved to Europe where he established a dance school and a concert jazz dance company called JazzArt; Mattox has since catalyzed a new French jazz dance community as a teacher and choreographer.

Keywords:   Choreographer, Codified technique, Commercial theatre, Free style, French jazz dance, JazzArt, Matt Mattox, Theatrical jazz dance

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