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The Manifestation of Jazz Dance -Timeline
Transcript of The Manifestation of Jazz Dance -Timeline
Early Jazz Music (
Blended Jazz & New Choreographers
Funk & Rock'n'Roll
Sweet Charity (
Swing No Mo' (by
The Manifestation of Jazz Dance
The Middle Passage(
Sea routes across the Atlantic Ocean used to transport enslaved Africans to the Americas for work.
The enslavement of Africans from various African countries and regions caused a blending of customs and traditions from their respective origins. The visibly fastest form of blending was through dance in forms of African Vernacular at social gatherings (music and dance) in places like Congo Square in New Orleans.
Entertainment & the Cakewalk (
By the 1830's European influences had become prominent with plantation origins of African vernacular styles of dance. At this time, Whites mimicked and made fun of the movements of the slaves as theatrical entertainment for themselves and other white audiences. The Cakewalk became a common dance performed during the theatrics as a finale for even audiences to participate in.
A partnered dance performed by slaves on plantations for Landowners' entertainment; was a dance based on the impersonation of slave owner's by the slaves.
video of African-Americans performing the Cakewalk
By the latter half of the 19th century, Vaudeville acts made an appearance in theatrical forms of entertainment. Vaudeville acts consisted of a variety of skits, musical performances, dances, acrobatics, and chorus girls. Ragtime music makes its debut throughout Vaudeville performances.
Ragtime Music & the Blues
Originating out of New Orleans, Louisiana, Ragtime music presented a new style of unique syncopated rhythms, piano percussion beats, and a solid African folk music foundation in terms of style. The Blues were similar in origin, only the sound of the blues included a looser structure to the music and used notes with flat (or sad sounding) tones. These new styles of music would become the precursors of later "Jazz" music.
A New Era:
Early Jazz Age
Emerging out of New Orleans through the presence of Ragtime and the Blues, early jazz music coincided with early jazz dance. The difference of early Jazz music, was that is presented more of "swung" tune with combined Ragtime and Blues' rhythms.
The Bullfrog Hop (
This year, Perry Bradford presented the song the
. According to historians, this song acted as a connector between jazz music and jazz dance. This song provided listeners with instructions of ways to move to the unfamiliar rhythms and beats of early jazz music.
New Dance Moves (
By 1910 there was a rise of new dances that imitated animals such as, the Turkey Trot, Bunny Hug, and Snake Hips. The increase in popularity of these dances caused a shift from them being seen mainly in after-hour clubs to being seen in socialite ballrooms. This shift of location brought about a change in how new dances were performed. Being in larger groups (in ballrooms) encouraged group dances and partner dances such as the Charleston and the Texas Tommy.
Group of people participating in group dances and partnered dances like the Charleston and Texas Tommy.
Early Jazz Dances:
It's Offical! (
The jazz genre has officially made its debut and a name for itself. This is the year the term jazz is first seen in print.
The Jazz Age
The Roaring Twenties
Darktown Follies (
This theatrical show displaying dances like the Cakewalk and Texas Tommy would be a precursor for jazz style music and dances to be incorporated into future Broadway musicals and shows.
The Harlem Renaissance (
The 1920's were a time of change in the United States. For African-Americans it was a time of celebration after slavery, expansion,self-expression, and progression. For white-Americans, celebration was happening, but also exploration, and a change of ideals. Society as a whole was changing and a new generation was coming of age.
A New Era:
Jazz music is quickly developing a personality of its own. New jazz musicians increase the use of musical improvisations along with ensemble collaborations. This technique introduced new rhythmic concepts with various instruments working together.
The Harlem Renaissance(H.R.) was a movement of progression and self- expression for African-Americans in terms of music, dance, literature, and art. Prior to the start of The H.R. many newly freed slaves and African- Americans migrated to the North of the United States in large numbers(millions) to escape cruel and legal treatment by white southerners and former slave-owners. This migration caused shift in location of the hub of jazz culture from New Orleans to New York City. Many new artists and writers had an large influence on Jazz music, dances, and audiences. People like Duke Ellington(musician), Langston Hughes( writer/poet), Louis Armstrong(musician), Dizzy Gillespie(musician), Billie Holiday(singer), and many more all contributed unique talents and perspectives that added to the emerging culture of jazz. The influence of the H.R. would be seen internationally as well in places like France with dancer Josephine Baker, England with writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, and in Caribbean Islands, but with more direct connections of African vernacular.
Jazz dance at this time coincided in development with jazz music. Jazz tap begins to gain popularity, which will later open the door for sand tap(early tap dancing) and tap dancing as we know it today. In jazz music, drummers and percussionists would mimic or create rhythms that snychronized with the beats and rhythms created by jazz tappers. The two could work together and play off of each other creating new rhythmic phrases that worked as compliments.
The Savoy Ballroom
New Dance Moves Again
By the 1930's Jazz was in full "swing". Jazz music and dance had become very popular and was gaining audiences of different races all over. Through Vaudeville shows, touring dance troupes, jazz ensembles performing in clubs and ballrooms, jazz culture reached a wide audience. At this time, swing jazz dancing had also started to gain popularity.
The Savoy Ballroom was a hub of social jazz dance during the late 1920's-1930's. This is also the birthplace of the Lindy Hop, Shorty George, and the Suzie Q dances.
The 1930's were a decade for experimentation with dance moves. Whitey's Lindy Hoppers were a touring troupe that gave birth to partner throws into the air while doing the Lindy Hop; specifically created by a man named Frankie Manning. A man named Herbert White is said to be the first to choreograph Lindy Hop routines performed on stage. Jazz tap receiving more attention at this time because of dancers like the Nicholas Brothers(Fayard and Harold), Fred Astaire, and John Bubbles. These performers gained even more attention for themselves and jazz tap dancing through exposure in movies and on stages(vaudeville and Broadway).
Inventor: Earl "snake hips" Tucker
aka The Human Boa Constrictor
Video of Earl Tucker performing Snake Hips dance along with seemingly derived variation of the cakewalk dance.
The Nichcolas Brothers in "The Black Network" short film 1936
Fred Astaire in "Shall We Dance" film 1937
Theatrics and Ballet
Swing jazz dance and music began to lose prominence by 1945. Large New York ballrooms began to shut down because of World War II efforts (1941-1945). While swing jazz concepts were on the down-slope, however, bebop jazz was on the rise. Bebop consisted of short, syncopated sounds and vocal scats that contradicted the elongated sounds of swing. This shift in jazz music, of course, caused a shift in jazz dance styles and movements.
With the rise of Bebop, Latin influences also began to take a toll in jazz dance. Caribbean influences of Cha Cha and Mambo style dances made appearances this decade.
Broadway and stage performances also experienced a influence from other genres of jazz dance styles and movement. Ballet influences began to become apparent on stages with choreographers and dancers like Katherine Dunham, George Balanchine, and Jack Cole.
Famous Films and
Cabin In the Sky (
Stormy Weather (
A New Era:
Modern Jazz Age
Sing! Sing! Sing! (
In this new era of jazz dance, influences from all over have affected jazz music and dances. These influences have caused jazz to develop many facets of its personality and take on many forms. The 50's brought out the peak of theatrical jazz dance and the beginning of studio jazz dance (or being taught in dance classes), as well as modern jazz dance. The 50's harnessed the beginnings of amazing works from Bob Fosse, Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, and many others.
Modern jazz dance styles encompassed hyperstylized movements(like those of Bob Fosse and Jack Cole), technical influences of ballet (similar to Martha Graham), and still maintaining African vernacular roots and syncopation of early jazz music (like Alvin Ailey and Katherine Dunham).
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (
This year, Alvin Ailey formed his now world-renowned dance company that would soon be home to his legendary choreographic piece "Revelations" (1960).
Jazz music began to be pushed out of the "pop culture" during the 60's. Not to say that jazz music no longer had presence, but it began to slide into the shadow of, and be influenced by, funk and rock 'n' roll genres of music that were coming into their prime.
This year, Bob Fosse choreographed
that connected the evolving world of jazz dance to the popular music of rock 'n' roll.
Pas de Duke (
Civil Rights Movement
The 60's marked a pivotal time for African-Americans, especially in the south. The Civil Rights Movement was time of constant fighting for justice, equality, and desegregation of public places. In terms of jazz, this movement had an influence on the people of this time. Jazz in the form of music and dance reflects in many ways what is going on in the world at particular times. The civil rights era was a time about finding and keeping the peace. Choreographic works like Alvin Ailey's
(1960) reflected back to African roots and empowering African-Americans to be strong and faithful. This is an example of how jazz was still present, evolving, and reflecting the world around it.
A piece by Bob Fosse that, similar to Sweet Charity(1966), connected the world of Jazz dance to rock 'n' roll.
This work by Alvin Ailey choreographed for his longtime friend and future artistic director of his company, Judith Jamison, and ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov encompassed modern technique based on jazz and early jazz dance forms.
A picture of Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov in Pas de Duke (1976).
A still from Pippin (1972) on Broadway.
By the latter part of the 1900's many different branches of the jazz tree had developed. From social dancing in ballrooms, theater jazz, tap, swing, funk, modern, latin jazz, club jazz, etc.
Throughout the 80's, Hip-Hop culture became prominent with artists and rappers like Rapper's Delight, Sugarhill Gang, Run DMC, Dougie Fresh, and Slick Rick. The beatbox sounds of Dougie Fresh and others held similar traits to bebop jazz music back in the 1940's in terms of using vocals to create instrument like sounds and syncopated rhythms. Of course, as hip-hop music developed, so did hip-hop dance moves. Most of hip-hop dancing took place at parties, clubs, and social events involved with hip-hop culture.
Jump Rhythm Jazz Project (
"Pop" Culture & Social Dance
This dance company created in 1990 kept a close connection to jazz dance being performed with authentic jazz music, even though other forms of the music and dance had influenced the ever changing genre.
Moving into the 21st century, jazz and all of its many forms paired off with the new styles of music like R&B, pop, techno, and rap. All of these genres each carried their own interpretation of jazz dance. All of them however, still had the foundation of musical tones, rhythms, and syncopation found in authentic jazz music. The dance styles had influence from the music and the people around creating it. Whether the music was techno playing at a rave (in which the driving beat is the percussion and instruments of the song and people dance in groups/masses) or R&B playing at a house party(where the music is smoother in sound and people may dance in partners or solo).
A New Era:
the Media Age
Created By :
"History.com." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.
"Jazz Dance A History of the Roots and Branches." Ed. Lindsay Guarino and Wendy Oliver. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <https://uga.view.usg.edu/content/enforced2/756322-CO.180.DANC2642.30662.20154/Jazz_Dance_A_History_of_the_Roots_and_Branches_1_to_99.pdf?d2lSessionVal=APfZgSL9d6JTiC4Y9BpdXDqxE&ou=756322>.
"History." Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.alvinailey.org/about/history>.
YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. <http://www.youtube.com/>.
Technology and Jazz
By this time, with the many forms of jazz, new dance moves had come and gone. Popular dances were line dances(electric slide), vogue (model-like poses and strut), hammer time (from rapper MC Hammer), running man (move that looks like you are running), butterfly (legs mimic the wings of a butterfly) & tootsie roll,chicken noodle soup, and many more.
In the millennium, jazz dance continues to branch out and evolve with change in society. Now expanded all over the world, people in Korean, Caribbean, Canadian, French, Italian, African, etc. cultures experience jazz in different ways. New generations of people continue to progress jazz dance in studio classrooms, parties, theater performances, movies, concerts, clubs, performance companies,and just about everywhere. This age of technology has definitely progressed the exposure of jazz dance. Technology, television, and movies play a large role in showcasing jazz dance in many styles. So many dance movies and t.v. shows like
Stomp the Yard
Save the Last Dance
Take the Lead
So You Think You Can Dance
America's Best Dance Crew
Dancing With the Stars
showcase branches of jazz dance styles.
Contemporary Jazz Forms
Media and Jazz
In its most recently manifested style, jazz dance has evolved into contemporary dance forms. This particular style houses influences from other styles of dance like ballet, modern, lyrical, and acro(acrobatic) much like jazz itself. Jazz in its contemporary form can adapt for many performances and audiences. Contemporary jazz still uses the dancer's body to enhance or visualize rhythms, syncopation, and percussive beats. Contemporary forms of jazz can be seen in studios, dance competitions, in movies, Broadway performances, and musical concerts.
The media and its many forms( social, news, t.v., radio, blogs, etc.) play a large role in the progression of jazz dance. Decades ago jazz spread across the nation through traveling acts, theater performances, newspapers, and word of mouth. Now in this age of technology, all of those methods are available along with the internet and social media allowing content, performances, lessons, dance crazes, documentaries, styles, information, and news to be transferred globally. Now anyone with internet access can watch a hip-hop performance happening in Korea(or anywhere). Social media in particular has allowed the fast spread of ideas, perspectives, choreography, and experiences with jazz dance. Social media forums like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. all contribute to the manifestation of jazz dance.