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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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if Jazz Dance, Then Jazz Music! 

if Jazz Dance, Then Jazz Music! 

(p.17) 4 if Jazz Dance, Then Jazz Music!
Jazz Dance

Billy Siegenfeld

University Press of Florida

In the current generation of jazz dance artists, swing does not appear to figure at all as a necessary ingredient of creative practice. Swing music embodies two different rhythms, “ground rhythm” and “jump rhythm,” each with their own personality. Swing emerges from balancing expression in these contrasting states, allowing offbeat accentuations that are at the heart of the jazz experience to pop off the ground with stunning unpredictability. Rock and roll primarily communicates only a single rhythm to the ear. This rhythm tends to repeat without any variation through the duration of a given piece of music. This author feels that if the movements of a dance have been consciously shaped to express the single, two-beat-based rhythm of a piece of music, by definition that dance cannot be considered a “jazz” dance— even if every last movement in the piece replicates in shape a physical gesture borrowed from authentic swing choreography.

Keywords:   Ground rhythm, Jazz experience, Jump rhythm, Rock and roll, Swing music

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