This page will update weekly to include a new question for the books that we are currently reading. Once the book is done, the questions will be archived and this page will start anew with the next reading.
Pat Cohen, Bob Cross, Sheron Way, and Billy Siegenfeld all present their definitions of Jazz dance. Which one do you most identify with? Are there bits and pieces from each you would take to create your own definition? Which pieces do you take? Do you think there are things they’ve left out that should be there? What are those?
Our dance communities have been making an effort to learn of the history that influences how we dance today. Jill Flanders Crosby and Michéle Moss state that we should “imagine the jazz tree as it appears in the introduction surrounded by a community dancing socially and performatively. The groove that the participants, dancers, and musicians share is one that celebrates individual expression yet moves as a collective. There is a give and take, shift and change in aesthetic intention that honors the roots of the tree, celebrating the heritage and legacy of jazz while new branches form as a result of the new innovations” (45). How do you see dance communities both honoring legacy and innovating new styles and movements? How are those two actions related in your mind? In what ways have you participated in that process?
How does the historical movement chart help you to see how dancing done in our current dance communities is in conversation with earlier dance movements, styles, and innovations?