It’s Jazz Part 3
Jazz and Dance were inseparable until the swing era ended. But jazz grew cooler in the 1950′s, and a mixture of black rhythm and blues and white country music became so hot that, as rock and roll, it transformed dancing, dress, speech, and the self-image of youth everywhere. Dancing grew more casual , relaxed, and less competitively technical. Latin American dance staked a strong parallel, too, following the Cuban and then Brazilian influxes of the 1940s through to the 1970s. But as youth’s search for respect has grown more urgent in tougher times, demonstrative and spectacular dancing has returned, and some young dancers have gone back to the “flash acts” of the swing years. Classical dancers, too, have found a rich, new source of inspiration in jazz dance.
Dynamic dances like the black emerged from the ghetto “jook” of the early years of the century. While dance has often been a social code to ease Access to a dominate class, it has also been an expression of independence, defiance, exultation, and solidarity. No matter what their status or background, the young have found release and respect from creative and ever-changing variations on dance styles of the past.
Here are some examples of the variations used:
Show dance – Show dance and ballet movements to jazz and funk grooves mingle in the work of some young dance groups, “air steps,” tap, stylized gestures, and balletic choreography build complex routines that are contemporary and reflect the history of vaudeville and Broadway.
Black classical dance – Ballet dancers who have moved toward the special freedoms and influences of jazz have created forms of dance that retain the statuesque, frozen movement visual poetry of classical dance but in which the meters are different. The rhythms of the body’s movements blend the sharp, impulsive turns of jazz accents, the robotics gestures and right angles of 1980s -funk disco styles , and the flowing shapes of ballet.
Mambo – Derived from the Latin tradition, features fixed, gesture poses made using the whole body, moody shapes, and bohemian dress, such as the black turtleneck and beret or the Lester Young – inspired pork pie hat.
1980s Jazz style – Baggy jeans, boots, an earring, and fast, punchy movements coupled with a frequently competitive approach on the dance floor characterized its early forms.
Swing – Graceful and often performed to bebop tracks. The foot work is quick, but the predominant features are large, sweeping moves, ” flash dance” high kicks, and the elegant swing uniform of baggy jacket, tie, and trousers, Oxford shoes, and sometimes a tuxedo.
Fusion – The dancer uses gimmicks to get a laugh and spar with others. Dancers call the style’s characteristic moves ” bulky ” – stamping feet and a rougher, street – oriented mode like stylized walking. The style also features astonishingly fast footwork and displays of virtuosity like knee-landing ” drops. ”