Jazz Dance Icons – Expanding the Legacy: Inspiration vs. Appropriation in Class and Choreography
April 16 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Bob Fosse, Luigi, Josephine Baker…These are just a few, iconic jazz dance luminaries and innovators. In our studies of jazz dance techniques, styles and choreography, many of us refer back to specific jazz dance artists in many ways for many reasons.
Class exercises, steps, dance phrases and even entire choreographic works are often used without permission. Where is the line between inspiration and appropriation? What is the difference between plagiarism, pilfering and paying tribute? YouTube and other digital sharing sites make appropriating creative property increasingly easy and seemingly acceptable, but appropriation in jazz dance is not new.
Historical examination of jazz dance artists from our past creates new possibilities for class and choreography. We know there is much to learn from the historic struggles and creative artistry of the many dance luminaries who have come before us. How can we explore and expand on the legacy of previous jazz dance innovators? How can we learn from them, honor them, be inspired by them and forward our own interests without continuing the historical practice of appropriation in jazz dance? This workshop forwards ideas for dance educators and choreographers with students and performers of all ages.
Participants in the workshop will physically and intellectually explore:
1. A brief, historical overview of appropriation in jazz dance.
2. The ways in which the creative property of jazz dance artists has been used in the creative and educational work of other jazz dance artists. Definitions of inspiration vs. appropriation will be discussed.
3. A step-by-step process for examining the work of jazz dance artists for use in class and choreography. We will analyze the work of an iconic artist, glean the essence and characteristics of that artist’s history and contributions, and apply information to our own short composition(s).
Lead by Barbara Angeline