Africanist Aesthetics, Jazz Dance, and Notation Walk into a Barre

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Teresa Heiland, Professor of Dance Education (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: researchers hypothesized how motif notation concepts from Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) and Language of DanceĀ® (LOD) could be used to help learners understand how the roots and branches of jazz dance styles are related. We began by investigating the Africanist aesthetics of jazz dance to better grasp how each element influences the feel of jazz as it exists within various jazz dance styles. To differentiate between the styles, we deciphered how the Africanist aesthetics blend with Europeanist aesthetics and movement vocabulary to merge into a variety of distinctly American dance forms. Notation-based dance theory offers a unique lens for analytical observation that helps to support theory discussion surrounding the essence of jazz as it is felt in the body. The Africanist aesthetic framework we created provides conceptual tools for comprehending the scope of jazz dance and a movement analysis perspective that might contribute to social, concert, and commercial or entertainment research. We hope this framework proves useful to others in their jazz inquiries by offering fertile conceptual ground for jazz dance research and pedagogical development within academic and artistic practices.

Additional Information

Journal of Dance Education 19(1)
Language: English
Date: 2018
jazz dance, Laban Movement Analysis, Language of Dance, American dance, dance education, dance notation

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