When working with students on choreography it’s possible to get them thinking beyond steps to a more robust concept of creative process that encourages thoughtful choices about all areas of production. Heather demonstrated this with her previous article. This time, she goes a step further, showing you ways to connect these ideas with dance history to enrich students’ understanding.
In the 1920s, wings were all the rage, and many variations existed. The Pump, the Pendulum, the Saw, the Double Back… like time steps, most dancers had a signature wing variation. But there was one variation in particular that caught the public’s attention, and it was the 5-count wing, created by Frank Condos.
Sliding has long been a popular tap step. The novelty of the slide comes from the illusion that the floor has somehow developed a slick surface, giving the impression that the dancer is off balance and could fall at any minute. Discover how it’s done, view classic footage, and learn about the men who made the step famous.
Three years feels too long since my last visit to Jacob’s Pillow. Dance Interactive is how I’ve been getting my Pillow fix lately. The website provides a tremendous opportunity for educating students and encouraging appreciation for dance on a global level. Drawing from the extensive Jacob Pillow Archives, it is a collection you won’t find elsewhere online.
Dance Advantage contributor, Roger Lee reflects on Black History Month, focusing in particular on a time when dance, along with the rest of America, was segregated. Giving a brief history of ballet dancer and pioneer, Arthur Mitchell, Roger expresses the inspiration that Mitchell and other trailblazers have provided for young black dancers like himself.
“Yes, it’s kind of like Tap. No, it’s not like Riverdance. Clogging is every dance – a dance form that includes everything from Irish step dancing to hip hop and everything in between. Cloggers perform choreography to anything from “Uncle Penn” by Ricky Skaggs to Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.” It is a dance form that defines who I was, who I am, and who I always will be.”