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PHOTO: CHERYL MANN


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Original Jazz Dance Company Redefines Boundaries


| by Samara Napolitan


day as Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago and the original jazz dance company, it is continuously recognized for propelling the ever-evolving jazz discipline. “We are not the trend follower, but the


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52 | REVUEWM.COM | APRIL 2011


trendsetter,” says Nan Giordano, artistic direc- tor and daughter of Founder Gus Giordano. “We are always pushing the boundaries of jazz dance, while at the same time remaining at the roots that we came from.” By casting depth in diver-


N 1974, A CHICAGO JAZZ dance company was invited by the Bolshoi Ballet to tour the Soviet Union, the first of its kind to do so. Known to-


“Our instrument is definitely on the more


athletic, muscular side,” Giordano said. This quality will be presented in full force


when GJDC opens the Kalamazoo show with “A Ritual Dynamic,” an intense acrobatic showcase set to the percussive music of White Derbakeh and Egyptian Disco. “We love opening with this piece,”


GIORDANO JAZZ DANCE


sity in its repertoire, Giordano performs a very wide range of styles and choreography. The company’s upcoming Kalamazoo residency, for example, will run the gamut from old favorites to groundbreak- ing stunners. The swinging Benny Goodman homage “Sing, Sing, Sing” will make an ap- pearance alongside the theatrical James Brown tribute “I Want You.” The juxtaposition of this hip hop work by pioneer Rennie Harris with a 1940s-themed piece, reaffirm GJDC’s primary mission to develop and preserve the indigenous American art form. The athletically demanding repertoire


suits the sheer technical prowess and stamina of the 10 dancers.


CHICAGO Miller Auditorium, Kalamazoo April 20, 7:30 p.m. $15-$35 millerauditorium.com, (269) 387-2300


Giordano said. “It’s a really technical, fast- paced piece that features partnering and great costumes. It sets up the tone right off the bat and hits the audience with a bang.” Beside the powerful


“A Ritual Dynamic,” is the hardcore ballroom piece “Sabroso” that will impress fans of the Cha Cha, Mambo, and Foxtrot. Newly premiered in March, Giordano describes the work as a “fiery, fast-paced,


and sensual, but very high energy.” The versatility of the dancers shines fur-


ther in slower pieces such as “Gravity,” a work that uses a popular song by Sara Bareilles to explore the tumultuousness of young love. “It is a really beautiful pas de deux to


watch,” Giordano said. Kalamazoo dance enthusiasts may recog-


nize the name Autumn Eckman, Giordano artistic associate, and choreographer of the fluid and silky “commonthread” and Midwest RAD Fest veteran. The original score was composed by her husband, electric violinist Dan Myers. n


SCHEDULE | DINING |SIGHTS


SOUNDS | SCENE Photo from Bodies Exhibit


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