I am not a dancer. I love dance, I enjoy watching it, but I do not know technical terms. What I do know is that for an hour and half on a Sunday afternoon, I was treated to a master class in jazz. The New York Jazz Choreography Project, presented by Jazz Choreography Enterprises, Inc., completely blew me out of the water with their spring showcase. With everything from Charleston to hip hop, this was a fantastic variety of styles from extremely talented choreographers and dancers. It was an afternoon that left me giddy and excited to see where these artists will take jazz in the future.
New York Jazz Choreography Project once again, takes its audience on a ride through the ever-evolving styles of Jazz dance. There were moments of dance happening “for us” like Find Your H A P P Y, reasonsLegacy, Well, Git It! and Pas de Drag, with healthy doses of giggles and applause. Meanwhile, there were moments of dance that were happening “to us” like Inner City Blues: Excerpt 4, Tremors, and This Way, echoing daily interactions in our personal lives, drawing the audience’s intimate self to the space.
On Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, Jazz Choreography Enterprises (JCE), in their 11th year, presented their New York Jazz Choreography Project at the Salvatore Capezio Theater at Peridance. Thirteen pieces were performed in this small black box theatre that burst with color as the dancers entered onto the stage.
Danita Shaheen is a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher who has been involved with Jazz Choreography Enterprises since 2008. Danita will be performing with DoubleTake Dance in JCE’s upcoming New York Jazz Choreography Project showcase on April 28 and 29.
Between late March and early April, DoubleTake Dance, a company directed by choreographers Vanessa Martínez de Baños and Ashley Carter, traveled to Belgium and Spain to teach dance workshops for tap and contemporary jazz.
Whether you came to Betsy Haug’s class as a ballet, modern, or jazz dancer, you found yourself in a challenging world. Her unique style was energetic and strong, earthy and sensual. If it spoke to you, it was natural, freeing and empowering. Betsy’s is a style of cause and effect with the body reacting to its own balance and leverage.
On October 28th and 29th, Jazz Choreography Enterprises held its fall performances of the New York Jazz Choreography Project, which celebrated its 10th anniversary year. Following the Sunday afternoon performance, several of the choreographers stayed for a talkback, fielding questions from the audience and the panel moderator, JCE Board Member Gregory Harris.
Jazz Choreography Enterprises has been working with Quinnipiac University since 2016 to create a Signature Experience in Jazz Dance class that allows students to better understand jazz dance, both through learning the movements and studying the history. On September 24th, JCE hosted another workshop for a new class of students.