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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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Donald McKayle, Jazz Dance Then and Now

Donald McKayle, Jazz Dance Then and Now

(p.125) 18 Donald McKayle, Jazz Dance Then and Now
Jazz Dance

Bob Boross

University Press of Florida

Donald McKayle worked with many of the pioneers of theatrical jazz dance as it was being formulated. His account of the beginnings of theatrical jazz dance starts in the 1940s when he began to take dance classes, although there was no jazz dancing being taught at the time. He found jazz dance in nightclubs and in a concert organized by New York Times dance critic John Martin. McKayle reflects on his early encounters with Jack Cole and Daniel Nagrin, who were making distinct contributions to the emerging theatrical jazz dance landscape. He points to Agnes de Mille, Peter Gennaro, and Talley Beatty for their innovations and then reflects on the jazz dance of more recent years, specifically on its presence at universities. After living through the then and now of jazz dance, McKayle sees the future of jazz dance as depending on absorbing the new, and preserving the old.

Keywords:   Agnes de Mille, Daniel Nagrin, Donald McKayle, Jack Cole, Peter Gennaro, Talley Beatty, Theatrical jazz dance, Universities

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