Led by 9 dancers, METAMUSE celebrates dance and pushes the boundaries of Jazz. Highlighting the relationship of movement & sound with each dancer embodying a different instrument, we experience the human process of balancing ego with humility…
“This is Jazz like you’ve never seen it before. The talent. The story. The dance. This style and calibre of performance is like no other in Australia, it’s what you see on New York stages and in the massive arts markets that simply do not exist here. We cannot wait to introduce METAMUSE to a wider audience.” Producer Aleksandar Vass OAM
Jazz dance emerged alongside the vibrant and evolving Jazz music genre in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its roots can be traced back to African and African American cultural influences, as well as the fusion of various dance styles from different communities.
Origins: Jazz dance finds its foundation in African dance traditions brought to the Americas during the era of slavery. These dances incorporated rhythmic body movements, polyrhythms, and expressions of individual and communal identity. Over time, these African dance forms merged with European partner dances and indigenous American dance styles, giving birth to new forms of expression.
Early Developments: In the early 20th century, as Jazz music gained popularity, Jazz dance began to evolve. Dancers like Josephine Baker, who rose to fame in the 1920s, incorporated elements of African dance, Charleston, and theatrical performances into their routines. The movement style became more dynamic, energetic, and syncopated, reflecting the rhythmic intricacies of Jazz music.
Swing Era: During the 1930s and 1940s, the Swing Era brought Jazz dance to new heights. Partner dances like the Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, and Charleston gained popularity in ballrooms and clubs across America. These dances showcased intricate footwork, acrobatic movements, and joyful improvisation. Legendary dancers like Frankie Manning and Norma Miller became prominent figures, influencing the development of Jazz dance as a social and performance art form.
Broadway and Film: Jazz dance gained further exposure through Broadway shows and Hollywood films. Choreographers like Bob Fosse and Jack Cole introduced innovative techniques and stylized movements, fusing Jazz dance with elements of ballet, modern dance, and theatrical storytelling. Fosse’s signature style, characterized by isolations, turned-in knees, and precise gestures, became influential and is still recognized today.
Contemporary Jazz: In the latter half of the 20th century, Jazz dance continued to evolve and diversify. Contemporary Jazz dance emerged, incorporating elements of modern dance, hip-hop, and other dance forms. Choreographers like Gus Giordano, Luigi, and Matt Mattox further expanded the vocabulary of Jazz dance, blending athleticism, expression, and technical virtuosity.
Today, Jazz dance remains a dynamic and ever-evolving art form, with various styles and interpretations. It continues to be celebrated and performed in professional companies, dance studios, and on stages worldwide. Jazz dance has become a cultural icon, embodying the spirit of freedom, self-expression, and the celebration of life. A rich and diverse tapestry.
The amazing photos you see for the promotion of METAMUSE were taken by Matthew Chen
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