The origins of jazz dance are found in the rhythms and movements brought to America by African slaves; movements ranging from the isolation of certain body parts to the entire body with the accents of musical rhythms. Through the end of the 1920’s, jazz music spread from New Orleans to Chicago and New York and the growth of jazz dance was directly influenced by this music.
It developed an artistic quality by blending the technique of ballet and modern dance. Today, jazz dance takes on many different characteristics and styles such as funk, street dance, and hip hop.
Jazz dance in movies
West Side Story (1961) | Saturday Night Fever (1977) | Flash Dance (1983) | Chicago (2002) | La La Land (2016)
Impression of Jazz Dance (by flamenco dancer)
I don't usually use my upper body so much and so rapidly in flamenco, so it was difficult to keep up with the tempo. At the beginning of the class, it was even difficult to keep up with slow tempo, and I didn’t think I could dance with the music (after all, I shot the 30-second choreography separately for the first half and the second half).
The choreography appeared in TV commercial 30 years ago in Japan which became very popular. When I saw the video in YouTube (Takefuji cm) after the lesson, I felt excited that I knew it and I could dance it somehow.