Jazzilicious

11 Jun
 

Today’s theme is JAZZ. Why? Because I miss it muchly.

You see, jazz is probably the dance form that best suits my personality. Upbeat, bright, fast, humorous and a wee bit unpredictable. I’m also much more into old school jazz…not so much the dance team “here’s my leg by my FACE” or competition lyrical jazz. I’m talking old Hollywood/Broadway, Charlie Chaplin, Duke Ellington (HELLO, Caravan is like my favorite song ever!) with a dash of Stevie Wonder. I still listen to this kind of stuff on my ipod, and often feel like a card carrying member of a dying species of dinosaurs. Believe me when I say I’m an old soul, and have actually used the term “whippersnapper” in modern times.

I reminisce on my jazzier days because I went to the OSU spring quarter informance. Jazz was one of the first classes I ever took, and it was such a blast. We touched on a lot of different jazz forms, and I got to learn Thriller (classic!), and dances from black and white movies to Austin Powers. ‘Twas a time when I felt all was right with the world, and what an epic quarter that was. Not only was that the jumpstart of my dance obsession, I also sprained my ankle playing tennis a few weeks before the informance (which I ended up able to perform in, but having my ankle wrapped like an eggroll), but during the informance itself the cd cut out and our music stopped. Being the troopers we were, we kept going, with some of us singing “Jailhouse Rock” onstage. They eventually stopped us for a re-do, but to quote the Jersey Boys, “oh what a night!”

During this most recent informance, one of the jazz classes performed to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours” and of course people were singing along, because it’s such a classic that goes far and beyond a lot of the krappish music that’s popular these days (I’m mostly displeased with the current entertainment industry, as things have fallen into dark, technology dependent times that I like to call the “age of mediocrity,” where anyone with money and no talent can be famous, but that is a story for another day), and it was painful to be in the audience! It actually hurt to not be dancing, especially because I haven’t been in a jazz class for months. A sign that I’ve found what I need to be doing in life? Perhaps. After all, I’m not physically gifted enough for ballet, serious enough for modern, and much too frail for hip hop. But when it comes to jazz, I thrive. I don’t care if it’s as simple as a kick-ball-change or a because I relish every moment like mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Graeter’s, to be specific.  *ETA: I totally misspelled “Graeter’s” which is a blasphemous crime in my religion.  Craig, the part time worker who once let my whacko friends and I in at 9:59 even though they were closing at 10 would be so heinously upset.  Forgive me Craig!

I think my favorite jazz-cd-stopping moment ever, though was during a class when rehearsing a dance to the Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” duckling Ifs (pronounced “eefs”) was singing along and right when she said in a lovely baritone voice “and mama” (about 3:40 into the song), the teacher stopped the cd. I of course, burst out laughing and everyone thought *I* was the lunatic, but in the name of Billy Elliot, let the truth be known. Ifs is a CRAZY. And not I, said the cat who took Jazz 1 five times.

In short, and in theory, me + jazz = hermit crab + shell.

Oh, and for those of you visual peeps, some video stills from the informance:

West African, starring ducklings Ifs, Nacho, Ranchito, Guacamole + more friends

West African, starring ducklings Ifs, Nacho, Ranchito, Guacamole + more friends

Daniela's Modern class, starring Ranchito, Guacamole + more dance elective mafia members

Daniela's Modern class, starring Ranchito, Guacamole + more dance elective mafia members

In other news, dance classes have been over for about a week now, and I am withering away.  Fortunately, the Columbus Summer Dance Festival starts next week, and I’m taking ballet to get a short fix, since I have to go out of town for Balletfest ’09.  Even if I can’t participate in the whole festival, 4 days of something is better then this lackadaisical lifestyle I currently lead.  And I mostly just wanted to use the word “lackadaisical” in a sentence.  Say it out loud, it’s quite funny actually.  But for those dance fans, friends and lovers in the C-bus area, be sure to make your way to the festival and drop in for a class or five.  More information be found approximately heresies:

http://www.dance.ohio-state.edu/5_resources/summer_festival_09.html

And for the record, what the billy is up with the festival having no jazz?!  NOT acceptable.

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