Collaboration through Jazz

When we finally reached the era of Jazz in Music & Choreography, it came as such a relief. In the thick of the busiest part of the semester, learning about Jazz, the only true American art form, was a delight.

In our study of jazz music, we related the improvisational and collaborative model that jazz musicians often take and applied to our creative process. Working in groups of 3 or 4 to create a  work together, while not an easy task, felt more like home to me than the solo studies we had been doing earlier in the semester. I love working collaboratively, sharing space and ideas to see what fits. It also became a gentle challenge to try out movement qualities other than my own.

My group chose a piece from the “cool jazz” genre: ” ‘Round Midnight,” by Thelonious Monk. Before choosing the music, we had discussed that we were interested in juxtaposing the sustained quality of cool jazz with moments of explosion and surprise. Here’s what we created :

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