The JCE Jazz Dance Project was back in full form for their October showcase last weekend, presenting fun and thought-provoking pieces by new and rising-talent choreographers. From swing and classical jazz, to ballet and even grooving, the sixty-minute evening was filled with energy, and the talent in the room was undeniable.
This year JCE continued its ongoing partnership with Quinnipiac University to present a “Signature Experience” seminar on September 30th for the school’s honors program students. These seminars aim to provide students with theoretical and experiential exploration—in this case, JCE helped to craft a course illuminating the history of Jazz dance, culminating in a dance class led by JCE staff and a performance of the JCE Jazz Dance Project.
Cat Manturuk, a veteran of the JCE Jazz Dance Projec, talked with us about her life as a jazz dance choreographer and teacher and shares some insights about the jazz dance scene of her native Detroit.
Sharlane Conner interviews Mike Baerga, a JCE choreographer and member of the King’s Company
Mikki Shoji is a dancer for DoubleTake Dance and has performed in JCE performances three times between 2015 and 2018. A native of Japan, she has been training and performing in the United States for several years. Today she shares some insights into her personal experiences, why she enjoys dance, and how dance culture differs between the United States and Japan.
JCE presented the New York Jazz Choreography Project over the weekend of April 28th. Following the Sunday show on the 29th, there was a talkback moderated by board member Gregory Harris. Some choreographers and dancers stayed to field questions from the audience.
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.