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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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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Performing Energy

Performing Energy

American Rhythm Dancing and the Articulation of the Inarticulate

Chapter:
(p.268) 32 Performing Energy
Source:
Jazz Dance
Author(s):

Billy Siegenfeld

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813049298.003.0032

Dancing expressed from a core of rhythmically articulated, intensity-infused energy is the hallmark of African-American-originated dance. Forms driven by strongly rhythmic body-dynamics are aesthetic cousins, which can be grouped under the umbrella term “American rhythm dancing.” This genre includes people as diverse as the krumper Lil’ C, jazz innovator Jack Cole, and tap dancers Fred Astaire and the Nicholas Brothers. When choreographers and dancers build movement from rhythmically accented dynamics, the energy of the movement more than its spatial organization impacts on the viewer. This is in contrast to space-organized movement that concentrates on re-shaping the body parts to achieve geometrically defined lines, as well as moving bodies through space in straight or curved paths. The author proposes a rebalancing of dance curriculums to focus more on the aesthetics of energy and body dynamics.

Keywords:   African-American dance, American rhythm dancing, European vs. African aesthetic, Jazz dance, Krumping, Tap dance

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