Recommended: Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches
University Press of Florida; 310 pages; $34.95
The idea for this book—a collection of essays by jazz practitioners and scholars on the past and present of jazz dance—first took root when professors Lindsay Guarino and Wendy Oliver shared their frustration that no definitive text on jazz had been published since 1968. In response, they have assembled more than 30 writings on jazz masters like Jack Cole, Bob Fosse, Matt Mattox, Luigi, Katherine Dunham, Gus Giordano, Frank Hatchett and Danny Buraczeski.
The anthology is divided into six parts: an overview of styles; history; influential teachers and choreographers; hybrid forms that have grown out of jazz; pedagogy practices (with a chapter devoted to “Jazz Dance Training via Private Studios, Competitions, and Conventions”); and contemporary reflections. Jazz Dance is a wonderful tool for teachers looking for in-depth profiles of historic jazz figures or a sampling of the second half of the 20th century’s jazz ideologies for a dance history course.