a NOTE from melanie
Welcome to Jazz Dance Direct, and to this eclectic community of artists, writers, educators, organizations, and institutions.
This website is a labor of love, and an offering to the jazz dance community that has given me so much. Jazz, our uniquely American art form, has always provided a space for my voice. Accordingly, I conceived this website to center the work of the people, past and present, who keep jazz dance alive.
I see the core of jazz as democratic. It has individual and group values. It is musical. It has and inspires agency. Jazz dance embodies so many things — but above all, jazz is communal. This website purposely makes a space for the many styles and philosophies of jazz. If you claim jazz, you have a home here, as part of a record and a resource. Though I have a clear aesthetic and strong convictions about jazz, Jazz Dance Direct is not a promotional tool for my views.
I hope this website creates dialogue among the many genres of jazz dance, and forms bonds among artists, educators, scholars, and advocates, as our cousins in the tap and hip-hop communities do so well.
This is version 1.0 of Jazz Dance Direct. Like jazz, I expect the website to evolve in response to this community. If you have ideas about the content, please contact me. The website needs your voice, your agency, and your participation to grow and thrive.
Keep It Jazzy,
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Melanie George is an educator, choreographer, and scholar. She is the founder and director of Jazz Is… Dance Project, and Dramaturg and Audience Educator at Lumberyard. Publications include “Jazz Dance, Pop Culture, and the Music Video Era” in Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches.
As director of Jazz Is.., she is a highly sought after teacher and choreographer, staging neo-jazz works on dancers throughout the United States.