A conflation of many dance styles, modern jazz or jazz dance has become a favorite among beginning and amateur dancers who love twisting and turning in their jazz shoes. Modern jazz dance emerged from the golden age of jazz music in the 1950s. Before it was popularized as a distinct genre of dance, modern jazz still belonged to a broader classification called jazz dance, a style culled from African American vernacular dance. Tap dancing, Boogie Woogie, and Jitterbug were some of the other dance styles under jazz dance category.
It was until the ‘50s when Katherine Dunham transformed the genre, and then came modern jazz. Other styles separated and developed individually, while modern jazz became a staple on Broadway shows, incorporating a smoother, fluid style of dance that is practiced today. Shows like Chicago and Cabaret are two of the most famous examples exhibiting the modern jazz dance style.
Beginners need to get acquainted with basic modern jazz knowledge. Performers wear jazz shoes, which usually are split-toe slip-ons with leather soles. Jazz shoes allow for ease of movement, especially when doing turns.
When it comes to technique, modern jazz embraces an array of dance styles, primarily ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, and lyrical. Modern jazz is often performed with a nod to its Afro-Caribbean roots. Many type of dancers find it relatively easy to perform modern jazz, but those with a strong ballet foundation excel.
Center control is highly regarded in modern jazz. This refers to the dancer’s ability to execute movements that seem to rise from a center of balance. Control and balance are important when performing dance moves that normally should disrupt one’s balance. Expect also plenty of fouettés and pirouettes, controlled by a dancer’s excellent spotting. As with ballet, modern jazz values being on point. Dancers align their toes with their legs while performing in jazz shoes.
Dancer wear for modern jazz depend on a given performance piece, but beginners should start with a good pair of tights and leotards. Jazz pants, a lighter and tighter version of sweatpants, is also an option. Female modern jazz dancers can also wear dance skirts with shorts or throw a ballet skirt over their tights.
Beginning modern jazz dancers must possess superb flexibility. The movements that modern jazz commands require you at your most flexible, lest you break our center control. Before starting your modern jazz training, you should undergo some strength training as well. This will prepare your muscles for the strain of performing modern jazz movements. You are required to stretch and use your muscles at maximum. Early on, practice some flexibility exercises, such as stretching your leg muscles until you are able to perform splits, back bends, and lift your leg that it touches the side of your head.
Expressiveness is another element that beginners need to take heed. With its close ties to musical theater, modern jazz requires a dramatic presence. Performers should be ready to project a range of emotions through movement, from desire, apathy, rage, sadness, to joy. The dance requires you to execute the technical complexity inherent in ballet, while also bearing the passion and expressiveness of a theater actor.
To find high quality jazz shoes and other jazz dance wear, visit www.alycedancewear.com
Alyce Dancewear has consistently made available some of the most comfortable, durable and well-designed dance clothing in the market today. From ballet, modern jazz to contemporary dance, Alyce Dancewear covers many styles that suit both beginning and professional dancers. They even have something for the very young dancer lovers, with their offering of kids dance costumes and dance accessories that’s perfect for rehearsals and stage performances. From leotards, dance skirts, tights to dance bags, Alyce Dancewear does not miss. And customers have particularly taken to several products that have kept them on their toes.
Among the most sought after products available on Alyce Dancewear is the selection of well-crafted and stylish dance shoes. For practitioners of the vibrant art of modern jazz, they offer the Gore Jazz Boot, which comes in black and tan colors. Made of pliant and soft leather, the Gore Jazz Boot is made with a split sole and comes with slide elastic inserts, which are nifty alternatives to the traditional lace ups. Practice or execute or your pirouettes and pas de bourreés with utmost ease, thanks to the Gore Jazz Boot’s rubber traction pad and heel, keeping you anchored on the floor and maintain your center of balance. Both male and female modern jazz performers can enjoy the Gore Jazz Boot’s sleek and sturdy construction.
Women jazz dancers are in for treat with Alyce Dancewear’s Split Sole Jazz Shoe. Made of full grain leather, a pair of these provides maximum comfort and fit. The Split Sole Jazz Shoe comes in tan and black and features a lace-less design, with an elastic top throat. Jazz dancers would appreciate the strong traction the shoes provide, as they train rigorously for dance tours, public performances, and or even just for a dance workout. Split Sole Jazz Shoes are also available in children’s sizes.
Those who go for a more classic look, the Adult Lace-Up Jazz Shoes are bestsellers. Constructed with a split sole and soft leather, this pair of jazz shoes comes in black, white and tan colors. With its sturdy shoestring, this pair goes perfectly with period costumes for those nostalgic dance numbers about the Jazz age. Children jazz dancers can also enjoy the lace-up jazz shoe with the Child Lace-Up variety.
Hip-hop dancers are literally head over heels in love with Alyce Dancewear’s Dance Performance Sneaker. The pair has such a comfortable fit and handsomely constructed that dancers use it even just for walking around town. Dance Performance Sneaker has a non-marking sole, perfect for dancing on hardwood. With its solid construction and low profile cut, these shoes are lightweight, made of breathable mesh, leather and lined with Nylex to protect your feet from awful callous and bruise. Modern jazz dancers can trade their regular lace up jazz shores for the cool and comfort of this pair, which comes in black. Perform those incredible leaps and worry less about landing—this all-around dance sneaker provides shock absorption and has foam padded heel and sock lining.
To find out more information about these top quality dance shoes, visit www.alycedancewear.com.
Pina Bausch was a German dance teacher, choreographer and dancer who died in June of 2009 at the age of 68. Before her death, she was set to collaborate with his friend, the acclaimed director Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, Paris, Texas) for a biographical documentary. Wenders stopped the project, but Pina’s dancers from the Tanztheater Wuppertal later persuaded him to continue. What came out, two years after Pina’s death, is unique achievement in its own. These dancers eventually made it to Wenders breathtaking ode to Pina Bausch’s life and art. In various outdoor setting and dancing clothes, they construct the legacy of their mentor in movement and testimonies. Pina debuted at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival’s Out of Competition section, and is now being shown in theaters worldwide.
Wenders took advantage of the 3D, a technology often relegated to light blockbusters and thought of as mere gimmick. Pina is a documentary where we hardly see the subject, but her presence is always on screen, resurrected by the gorgeous and breathtaking performances of her dancers. Shot mostly in Wuppertal, Germany, Pina is divided into four segments—La sacre du printemps, Café Mueller, Kontackthof and Vollmond. Intercutting these sections are personal testimonies and interpretations of Bausch’s choreography.
You don’t have to be familiar with Pina Bausch and her work or even an expert in modern dance, which she is credited for influencing. Wenders and the Tanztheater dancers open the world of dance to the audience as freely and generously as a wave of hand.
In Le sacre du printemps, or The Rites of Spring, we see the dancers charting a stage covered almost entirely in peat.
Café Mueller features performances of dancers, in plain or dance clothes, wander about a café, tottering or whizzing past tables and chairs, sometimes tumbling them, often in groups, and sometimes we see only one dancer. The story is about a blind woman finding her way into a café while obstructed by chairs and tables and as other people help or connect with her. The café supposedly conjures a place that Pina Bausch used to frequent as a child.
Pina Bausch has nurtured performers from different generations, as seen in Kontakhof. This segment shows the various skills and styles of dancers as they perform in different locations, which Wim Wenders later weave as one stunning collage. Through the fantastic abilities of the dancers, get to see the breadth of Pina Bausch’s art and the depth of her influence.
There are dance performances staged outdoors. On an island in the middle of busy intersecting roads, we see a male and female dancer in casual dance clothing, performing as though they’re in vast empty space.
The movie’s final chapter, Vollmond, shows us a stage occupied by a huge chunk of rock surrounded by chairs. Dancers trample about a flooded stage until they face the audience at the end.
Wim Wenders, whose last few films did not match his stellar achievements in the 1980s, has given the mass audience a joyous celebration of two art forms—dance and cinema—as well as a moving elegy to his friend Pina Bausch.
For quality dance clothing and dance accessories for adults and children, visit www.alycedancewear.com.
Ready to own the dance floor with a new choreography? First you have to get your steps right and choose the perfect music. The beauty of modern jazz is that it blends the rudiments of classical ballet with patches of other styles like hip-hop, contemporary and lyrical. Because of the wide scope of modern jazz, you can be wildly creative in in your choreography and take inspiration from and edgy pop song or club hit. You can even pick up concept for your dance attire by listening to that great track. So to get you started, we’ve composed a list of 5 cool pop tracks that make for a great modern jazz number. Get your fingers flexing, keep your dance clothes ready, and see what inspires in our top 5 hot tracks for modern jazz.
1. “Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine
Stuff your stirrup dance tights into your dance bag and groove to the enchanting vocals of Florence Leontine Mary Welch of Florence and the Machine. Cosmic Love is the sixth single from their album Lungs. The track sweeps from Welch’s soft crooning layered with harp and bustling percussion’s. The song is best for intermittently slow dances that burst toward the end with sonic glee.
2. “I Follow Rivers” by Lykke Li
A more industrial but still upbeat electronic sound, “I Follow Rivers” is anchored solidly by the 25-year old Swedish pop star’s solid singing. The song fits well with a choreography that mimics ocean movements, crashing waves, seagulls darting down for food, and mist. Lace-up your jazz shoes for movements high on extensions, leaps and pirouettes, matching the songs surges and even parts. The dancing accessories that could match this song and number are sea green leg warmers, frayed scarves, and frills.
3. “Love” by Kazaky
We hope you have enough stretch stirrup dance tights for this next number. This Ukranian pop group Kazaky is composed of four gorgeous, ridiculously sculpted men who dance a mean jazz on killer stilettoes. The design duo DSquared loved them so much they let Kazaky walk on their Spring 2011 show—and yes, dance the hell out of that runway. “Love” is a fast, rhythmic techno beat that’s sexy and ferocious. As much as we love seeing the Kazky boys do front sommersaults on stilletoes, we recommend you wear leather dance performance sneakers for this.
4. “Video Games” by Lana del Rey
Ignore the controversy over her Saturday Night Live performance. The hype is well deserved. Lana del Rey gives us a truly soulful and unique torch song that could just be one of biggest hits this year. “Video Games” is caramel rich in its detached lament and infectious lyrics. Choreograph a number for ballerina turned screen siren, whirling and whirling in her ballet dancing shoes as del Ray purrs, “It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you.”
5. “Moon” by Bjork
It’s time to embrace the edgy rock star pixie inside. “Moon” is a single off the Icelandic diva’s innovative Biophilia, an album that’s both a disc and an Apple application. Create a costume reminiscent of red-haired Matryoshka dolls and computer keys. Fuse the earthy and organic with the technologically modern in your choreography and offer a dance for the lunar eclipse. Dances shoes would have to be rhinestone half lyrical shoes and leotards swathed in dark lace.
Dancing is an intense activity that requires several muscles and parts of your body to work. Thus, you need to find the most suitable dance attire that will allow free and unrestricted movement for your entire body. There are no dress codes, however, that dancers should follow. But the general rule is to choose your dance apparel according to the type of dance you are performing.
If you are dancing alone, you want to choose a dance wear that is comfortable and does not restrict your performance of the dance. On the other hand, if you have a dance partner just like in a ballroom dance, you should take them into consideration when choosing your dancing clothes. Make sure that it is not only a suitable outfit to wear to dance in, but is also safe and easy for your partner. You need to try out a few outfits first before you settle for one. And whenever possible, perform a practice dance with your partner while wearing the costume you intend to wear to the actual dance.
One other component to your dance attire that you need to pay real close attention to are your dancing shoes. Several dancers have acquired injuries for wearing the wrong kind of shoes to a dance. You would not want that to happen to you, so it pays to invest on finding the right shoes that you can use.
In the case of ballroom dancing, the shoes are one of the most important parts of your outfit to look into. There is a lot of movement required for your feet so you have to learn about your dance shoes options.
There are specially made ballroom dance shoes that you can buy these days. These are designed to be lightweight so you can move freely. In addition, they can be made out of smooth leather soles or suede. Ballroom shoes for males and females have approximately 1 to 1.5 inch heels, although shoes for females can have heels up to 3 inches in height. The choice of heels height will depend on your preference and what you find comfortable dancing in. The cost for ballroom dancing shoes can run from $60 to $120, depending on the brand and the material.
Buying dance apparel for ballroom dancing should be given enough thought and consideration. After all, it will not only affect your performance but also your own safety. Ballroom dancing is specially demanding on your feet so you need to be thorough when shopping for dance shoes. There are four specific criteria that you need to look into when choosing: comfort, performance, protection, and support.
Refrain from buying cheap ballroom dancing shoes that are built poorly. They often lack the support that your feet needs when performing complex dance movements on your feet. Furthermore, there should be interior seams to provide cushioning on your feet so you will be as comfortable as you can be while dancing.
Closed-toed shoes for ballroom dancing are recommended over open-toed ones. After all, your feet are vulnerable to being stepped on by your partner as you are performing the dance sequence. Hence, you need to wear closed-toed shoes to protect your toes from this kind of impact.
Also, if you feel uncomfortable about wearing high heels for ballroom dancing, consider wearing flats instead. There are many dancers that wear flats as their ballroom dance shoes. This will help to minimize the impact on your feet while dancing and also make you feel more comfortable.
Dance and fashion always seem to go together. In a way, dance has influenced fashion. And yet, fashion largely impacts what most dancers wear for their dance routines. These two art forms always go together and so this is only timely that for this upcoming spring, there is a wide array of dance apparel to harmonize with your dance movements and style.
The movies Flashdance and Fame were among the perfect epitome at how dance and fashion can intermingle. The silver screen further popularized dance clothing as something that is fashionable, not just functional. The moment these movies were released, women from all over the world dreamed of wearing a leotard and tutu. Of course, the popularity of Madonna during the 1980s helped to further push fashion as an integral part of dancing.
Soon enough, trendy retailers began shooting out and offering a wide range of dance clothes for the fashionable dancers. The products ranged from off-shoulder tops (which were very reminiscent of Flashdance), leotard, and loose crop pants. Dance wear are indeed getting a share of the spotlight this Spring with these classic dance clothes revisited with a new flair to them. Thus, fashion experts are predicting that the fashion runways for the upcoming Spring will be marked by designs that are taken off the dance studio.
There are many ways that you can incorporate dance fashion as part of your daily life, not just on the dance studio. The use of leotard under skinny jeans would go well for a casual look. Or, you may also layer your leotards with a sleeve-fitted top or sweaters. Indeed, the moment you step out of the studio, you can still use your dance clothes when you go shopping or meet up with pals. It is all about trying to mix and match various dance costume accessories for your daily wear. This has helped shape the dance wear fashion scene and it is therefore becoming more of a practical investment for female dancers since they can have more use for them, not just for dancing.
Finding dance apparel is therefore something that you need to give much thought to. Some classic dance wears aren’t readily accessible from your favorite retailers, such as pointed shoes or tutu. Thankfully, there are plenty of them via the internet so you can explore as many retailers for the perfect dance attire.
Since dance clothes are the new fashion rage this season, it should be easy to find the ideal retailer for the clothing pieces that you want. Fashion enthusiasts should opt for retailers that offer competitive pricing and have a wider selection. This will provide you with more flexibility in terms of finding the ideal attire that ensures comfort as you dance, while at the same time is fashionable enough to use for your casual wear.
It does not matter what specific area of dance art you are practicing, there is a way for you to find the right dance clothing while still reflecting your fashion sense. It is all about finding the right retailer that can provide you with clothing options to suit your needs and taste. Feel free to explore because finding fashionable dance apparel is now much more convenient.
Ballet dancing is one of the most sophisticated and intricate forms of dancing art in existence. This is why it is important that you find the perfect ballet dancing shoes to support your legs as you perform your dance movements. The most challenging part of ballet is when the dancer goes on pointe.
A dancer has to meet five essential requirements before she is allowed to go on pointe. This is recommended only for dancers above the age of 12 because at that point her legs are strong enough for her to execute this particular ballet move. There are rigorous trainings that a dancer has to fulfill before she is allowed to go on pointe. The goal for undergoing this training is to improve her strength, alignment, and master her form. In addition, mastering the right technique of doing the pointe is vital to prevent injury.
Ideally, a ballet dancer has to undergo training three times a week. This is recommended to maintain strength and flexibility when performing this complex dance form. To be clear, it has to be a formal type of training to ensure that all of the required skills and techniques are acquired by the dancer. During the practice period, the dancer must utilize capezio dance wear and shoes. It provides the dancer with the needed support and assistance in order to deliver proper execution.
When learning pointe during a ballet class, all students are required to extend at least half an hour off of their regular session. This particular technique will focus on working your feet and ankles. Hence, you can expect those parts of the body to undergo tremendous level of stress and pressure during the training. Investing in the most appropriate ballet shoes can make a difference, learn these techniques in a short amount of time, and free you from injuries.
Ballet instructions are even provided to evaluate each dancer before beginning the training period. The assessment period is done in order to ensure that the dancer is physically capable to handle the rigorous training. This process basically ensures the safety of the dancer to guarantee that she can cope with the demands of the pointe. Indeed, ballet dancing shoes and proper dance clothing can only do so much to your protection.
In addition to physical capability, dancers need to reach a level of emotional maturity before they are allowed to go on pointe. This particular element requires a great deal of hard work on the part of the dancer. You can expect to suffer from lots of blisters and sore feet along the way. And if you are not tough enough on the emotional aspect, then it can be difficult to move on to the remainder of your training period.
Finding top quality pointe and ballet shoes must be a priority for all ballet dancers. In fact, it is more important than any other dance apparel for ballet because majority of the work is focused on your feet and ankles. Buying your capezio shoes from trusted suppliers is recommended so you can ensure that it can facilitate your ballet needs.
Dancing is an art form – whatever the genre of the dance is. You’ll often hear dancers say that dancing is a way of expressing their thoughts and emotions, similar to the way singers express themselves through their songs. Performing arts are very visual – aside from ensuring that performers have the right moves, it is also essential to keep the interest of the audience with the dance clothes and dance costume accessories they wear.
Dancing is an activity that requires a lot of body movements. Performers do not only need to look good, they also have to move well while wearing the dance clothing. Thus, finding the right dance costume accessories is important. In fact, there is a list of factors to consider when choosing specific dance attire to ensure that your choice suits the rhythm and style of the dance.
Every dancer needs to project a good impression to the audience. Having the right clothes – fit, style, and design – is essential for a dancer’s overall performance. If a dancer is uncomfortable in the dancing wear, it will be very obvious to the audience. It takes a lot of effort and time to find the right fit and type of dancing clothes and dancing shoes.
Dancing is a work of art; consider these tips when you need to buy dance apparel to ensure that you exude the confidence you need to perform your best.
Getting ready for a dance competition can be really exciting but also very scary, especially if you’ve never competed before. Here are some tools to use when getting ready for the big event:
Seeking the answer to seemingly simple questions, “What are you thinking?” or “What are you feeling?” the Martha Graham Dance Company urges dance enthusiasts to join the online contest, “On the Couch: An Inner Monologue.” The contests features two members of the company in dance wear online.
The dance company’s website already posted two videos showing a man and a woman respectively, portraying patients undergoing therapy. These two videos serve as a jump off point for aspiring participants who may or may not ever have donned dance wear for kids when they were young.
Entrants are expected to make a video, or psychodrama, showing their emotional reaction to the said dance videos. The two performers in dancer wear are performing through a range of emotions that contestants must respond to in text or dialogue on video.
After downloading each of the clips running up to three minutes, participants should add text, dialogue or voiceover interpreting the dancer’s feelings and thoughts. The text or caption should begin with the sentence prompt, “Doctor, it’s happening again.”
Tadej Brdnik, principal dancer at the Martha Graham Dance Company, says that the contestants’ text input can be either deeply personal or as broad as topics such as world war. Brdnik who directs the contest is one of the performers in the videos. Contestants must also incorporate anywhere in the video the quote, “Movement never lies,” words which came from Martha Graham herself.
The contest encourages not only therapy but also entices dormant dance lovers to slip into their dance tops, dancers leg warmers, or whatever they’re comfortable in and finally take up dancing. The Martha Graham Company hopes that the interactive videos will draw new audience to their performances.
Janet Eilber, the company’s artistic director and the force behind “On the Couch: An Inner Monologue,” describes the company as a leader in steering the modern dance world in finding new ways to reach out to new audiences.
“On the Couch” is considered a playful addition to the company theme this season called “Inner Landscape,” which portrays the American choreographer exploring the human psyche and its permutations in a variety of movement and dance.
The winning entry will be featured in one of the company’s performances in New Year in March. A $500 cash prize will also be awarded. Second place and third place winner will also win the privilege of having their works shown during the company’s performances, along with $300 and $200 cash prizes respectively.
Deadline for submitting entries is Feb. 15.
The judging panel will be composed of experts in the fields of music, creative writing, psychology, media and dance.
Brdnik says that the competition is a sort of reverse rehearsal process, as they begin with dance and build the interior lives of the characters afterward. He also hopes Graham’s enduring influence in all over the world is presented through the contest in an engaging, novel way.
The oldest dance company in the world, the company is a part of the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance founded in 1926 by Martha Graham. Graham died in 1991.
For your dance wear solution needs, visit www.alycedancewear.com.