Anyone who loves music, dance or theater should make plans to attend Some Fascinatin’ Rhythms…, the fall dance concert, said Sandra Robinson, rehearsal director for Danny Buraczeski, a guest choreographer for the performance.
The concert is a collaboration of the College of Visual and Performing Arts schools of music, dance and theater. The concert, which has been performed four times, will mix ballet, modern dance, jazz and swing music.
“There’s something for everyone,” Robinson said.
Some Fascinatin’ Rhythms… differs much from past performances because the USF Jazz Ensemble, a 17-member group, and the Jazztet, a seven-member group, are on stage performing at all times. Chuck Owen and Jack Wilkins, both professors of jazz studies, will direct them.
“We’ve never had a full piece orchestra before,” Robinson said. “There’s normally recorded music or a one or two-person accompaniment.”
Students perform with the music because the music is integrated into every part, Robinson said.
“For anyone who hasn’t seen a dance concert or a jazz concert, this is a great way to experience both at once,” Wilkins said. “You’ll probably never see or hear this type of collaboration anywhere else.”
Five professional choreographers are also added to this year’s show. Buraczeski is the artistic director for JazzDance, America’s only jazz dance company, according to a press release. His piece Swing Concerto begins with a solo danced to klezmer music. The type of music began in medieval Europe with East European Jews. The word “klezmer” means that the human being becomes the bearer of the song, and The music in Swing Concerto then changes to Lindy hopping, a type of swing music from the 1920s. Then the piece changes to big band music, another type of swing music.
“The music pretty well represents a lot of different jazz styles,” Wilkins said.
“Tell Me More” and “Then Some” features an ensemble of nine women performing to two jazz scores. In “Strange Flower,” Fanni Green, associate professor of theater, performs with five dancers. Dance professor Lynne Wimmer directs the piece. The work is a three-way exchange between movement, poetry recited by Green and music provided by soloist Perry Orfanella, a bassist from the Jazztet.
“Fanni conveys the feelings of the poems, and she moves well, so she was easy to work with,” Wimmer said.
Orfanella said he enjoys the freedom he has to improvise in his solo.
“I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do the next day,” he said. “No two performances are exactly alike.”
“Danny’s improvising becomes more rich with each performance,” Wimmer said.
For “Jazz Sweet,” Erin Cardinal, a director for Moving Current, a Tampa based modern dance company, choreographed a ballet to an original score which was written by Owen and is performed by the Jazz Ensemble.
Orfanella said his favorite part is the interaction of the modern jazz with what the dancers are doing.
The consensus of the choreographers is that the show is full of excitement.
“It has an upbeat feel to it,” Wimmer said. “It’s a lively, high-energy performance.”
A jazz piece written by John Parks, assistant professor of dance, concludes the evening’s performance.
“(The performance) is pretty rare with the 17-person ensemble and the original music,” Wilkins said. “It’s a unique experience.”
Contact Louisa Ogleat firstname.lastname@example.org