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UMD Dance Concert: In a Jazz Way

November 14, 2017

UMD Theatre Presents UMD Dance Concert: In a Jazz Way. Performances Nov 30-Dec 2 @ 7:30 pm and Dec 3 @ 2 pm.

UMD Dance Concert: In a Jazz Way
Rebecca Katz Harwood, Artistic Director 
Nov 30-Dec 2 @ 7:30 pm | Dec 3 @ 2 pm
Marshall Performing Arts Center - Mainstage Theatre

Blending the classical and the vernacular for its moves, and inspired by the collaborative, spontaneous spirit of jazz and popular music, join us to celebrate the rich variety of jazz dance! It combines 7 professional guest, residential & student choreographers; 19 dancers; and 9 designers to produce this 1.25 hour family-friendly extravaganza. 
Tickets: $21 Adult | $16 Senior/Veteran/UMD Faculty/Staff | $10 Student | $8 UMD Student | 218-726-8561

BONUS for Saturday & Sunday ticket holders:
Free 30 minute dance classes | All ages welcome | Marshall Performing Arts Center Lobby
Kick off your boots, and come as you are!
Saturday, Dec. 2 | starts @ 6:40 pm 
Sunday, Dec 3 | starts @ 1:10 pm 

Artistic Director’s Notes | So what is “in a jazz way”? 

I’m sure others would have different answers, but I can tell you what it is for me – In its sound, its roots honor the vernacular and the popular without ever sacrificing sophistication and style, while its branches have grown to embrace the worlds’ instruments and arrangements from soloists to symphonies.  In its movement, it is a hybrid, always absorbing new influences. In 2017, jazz dance is a mix of social dance, ballet, modern, tap, and increasingly, hip hop. It began on the streets and in the dance halls, made its way onto stages and screens, and is equally at home as high art and entertainment.  And in its approach, which is perhaps the most important aspect for me in selecting it as the theme and name for this dance concert, it embraces collaboration, spontaneity, and improvisation in process and performance.  It is a blending of the individual and the collective.
To dance “in a jazz way” is not a matter of just adopting a certain vocabulary, though the form certainly has its hallmarks. It is to honor music and movement as equal partners in a physical conversation that connects us to each other and to you, the audience, in a way that is kinesthetic and emotional.  Or emotionally kinesthetic.  Or….well you get the idea.  With or without characters and a story, this is dancing you feel.
I’m very excited to share the rich variety of “conversations” in this concert. I’m grateful to each of the choreographers, who have generously shared of themselves in creating the works you will see.  And on behalf of all the choreographers, we are indebted to the dancers, who are bringing these works to life with energy, precision, flair, and so much heart.  Creating original dances is a communal leap of faith (pardon the pun). Choreographer and dancers gather in the studio, starting with an idea that exists only in the choreographer’s head, and through listening and sharing, trying and re-trying and refining ideas, a dance is born. Thanks to our team of designers, each of these dances has been given additional form and texture through their artistry in costume and lighting.  Finally, I am thrilled we have the wonderful Matt Groom joining us for guest choreographer Jason Janas’ piece, and a few surprises as well.
Herbie Hancock said, “Jazz is about being in the moment”.  Thank you for being here, to share these moments with us.

-Rebecca Katz Harwood, Artistic Director