Jazz Choreography Enterprises held its annual fall dance concert on October 22nd and 23rd. The performance was held at the Salvatore Capezio Theater at Peridance and featured work from 15 choreographers.
Seven of those choreographers put together smaller numbers, most of them duets. These ranged in tone from fun or carefree pieces like “Dancing Around the Subject” by Kirsten Brooks Sandler and Guy Mannick and “Sweet Tooth” by Kyle Weiler, to more heartfelt pieces like “Never Be Like You” by Sharlene Conner and Bryan Menjivar and “Swift Impulse” by Adrián Aguirre.
Julia Halpin showcased an excerpt from a longer work entitled “Love Don’t Come Easy,” which was a ruminating piece on gender, and Sekou McMiller showed the audience some Latin jazz with his piece “Palladium: the Chase.” Svetlana Khoruzhina created and performed a solo piece entitled “Take Care.”
Alexis Robbins and Jeff Davis presented more theatrical ensemble pieces. Robbins’s piece, “Please Be Kind If I’m a Mess,” featured a group of women in suspenders and bow ties trying to hold it together as they went about their days. Davis’s piece, “Something Wicked…,” drew inspiration from the Bradbury novel and told the story of a girl who gets drawn into an evil carnival.
Pieces like “She’s in Line” by Kenya Joy Gibson, “Dress” by Bobby Morgan, and “Path to the Golden City” by Fatima Logan showed the wide ranging influences on jazz dance and how styles like modern or African dance can mesh with it.
But there were more traditional jazz pieces as well. “Speakeasy” by Audra Bryant drew inspiration from the 1920s both in its movements and the dancers’ costuming. Mary Lynne McAnally created a Fosse-inspired piece in “Hats Off to Fosse” for her group of high school dancers.
There was a talkback following the Sunday performance during which time audience members got to ask questions of some of the choreographers. The Sunday performance was also attended by students from Quinnipiac University and the organization Groove With Me, who were invited by JCE to foster interest in jazz dance among a younger generation of potential dancers and fans.
Check out our Videos page to see videos of jazz dance artists who inspired some of the choreographers in the October 2016 Jazz Project.
You can view the photo gallery from the performance here.
Choreographers: Adrián Aguirre, Audra Bryant, Sharlane Conner, Jeff Davis, Kenya Gibson, Julia Halpin, Svetlana Khoruzhina, Fatima Logan, Mary Lynne McAnally, Sekou McMiller, Bryan Menjivar, Bobby Morgan, Alexis Robbins, Kristen Brooks Sandler, and Kyle Weiler.
The New York Jazz Choreography Project was curated by artistic directors Marian Hyun and Merete Muenter with the help of jury members Lisa Biagini, Crystal Chapman, and Alan Spaulding.