|photo by Brian Mengiini|
This course will combine an in-depth look at the history of jazzdance with a focus on jazzdance pedagogy. Students will examine the distinct but intertwined elements that have created this dance form, including its roots in African American vernacular (social) dances; the co-evolution of vernacular music and movement (such as ragtime, jazz, swing and blues); the contributions of specific choreographers including Jack Cole, Bob Fosse, and Katherine Dunham; and the impact of popular entertainments such as vaudeville, musical theater, film, television and video on jazzdance. Young will present her own approach to jazzdance pedagogy, which involves the integration of somatically based technical training with a broad knowledge of jazzdance stylization and a passionate exploration of music. Class work will focus on guiding students to develop their own material for teaching, with the goal of shaping a jazz technique class that embodies an authentic, sophisticated and intelligent approach to this quintessentially American dance form.
Cathy Young received her BA magna cum laude from Harvard University in Sociology and Women’s Studies, and her MFA in Dance from the University of Illinois. She is nationally recognized as a master teacher of jazz dance, and has conducted residencies at over 40 colleges around the country, as well as teaching at major U.S. festivals including Bates Dance Festival, Florida Dance Festival and the international Open Look Festival, in St. Petersburg, Russia. As a performer, Cathy has danced with numerous companies including Zenon Dance Company and Danny Buraczeski’s JAZZDANCE! touring extensively throughout the US and Europe, and performing in prestigious venues such as the Joyce Theater in New York and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. For the past 20 years she has been focused on creating her own work, a dynamic mix of styles and dance forms that intermingles jazz, modern, contact improvisation and social dance. She creates choreography for her own company, Cathy Young Dance, and has also been commissioned by professional companies and presenters including The Walker Art Center, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Pennsylvania Dance Theatre, Zenon Dance Company, The Minnesota Opera and internationally by Kannon Dance Company of St. Petersburg, Russia. Her choreography has been recognized with awards and grants from the McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Target Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board, among others. She was previously Department Chair and an Associate Professor of Dance at Ursinus College, and now serves as Director of the Dance Division of The Boston Conservatory..