Lecture by professor of Duke University Thomas F. DeFrantz host by Evolution Solo Weekend and Alina Sokulska #evolutionsoloweekend2018
Dancing the African Diaspora.
Black American
social dances.
African American Social Dances have fueled a global possibility of moving through rhythm toward urgent social expression.

This talk provides an overview of the variety of impulses that create the ground for Black Social Dance in the context of the United States. The talk explores various eras in social dance history and the ways that Black Social Dances create the possibilities for a vibrant dancing body engaged in collective aesthetic activity.
Thomas DeFrantz is a Professor of African and African American Studies at Duke University, and director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, a research group that explores emerging technology in live performance applications. Thomas F. DeFrantz received the 2017 Outstanding Research in Dance award from the Dance Studies Association. He has taught at NYU, Stanford, Hampshire College, MIT, and Yale. In 2013, working with Takiyah Nur Amin and an outstanding group of artists and researchers, he founded the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance. Current research imperatives include explorations of black social dance, and the development of live-processing interfaces for performance; he regularly teaches courses in these areas of expertise.
Watch the full lecture here!
#jazzdancenotes challenge research project
My academic interest in Jazz music and Jazz dance have lead me to the idea to release my personal analytical project about jazz dance history called Jazz dance Notes challenge. It has taken the shape of articles contain small quotations and comments on jazz dance history, in particular, how the contemporary anthropologists, dance historians and researchers see and analyse the mighty Jazz Dance. That's why, my personal challenge is to feature my favorite in the posts on #jazzworkshopswithalinasokulska page following main topics such as the nature of jazz dance, its styles and branches, its roots and continuum, its connection to music, improvisation, etc.

To read more articles, follow this hashtag:
Full Jazz Notes Challenge
Sunday Talk on Evolution Solo Weekend 2017
"If you know the foundation, the future
is clear" - Josette Wiggan
"This to me is one of the most intelligent concepts, one of the most intelligent realizations that I didn't even have until I came here: of connectivity in disciplines, in musical disciplines and dance disciplines. Because you have to kind of dig dip to understand how this stuff is threaded together, how it's all combined. And to bring them together into a single arena and to have people partake in them together at the same time, communities that wouldn't necessarily cross each other; and to actually demonstrate to ourselves and to the audience the connectivity of these things, like the historical connectivity of these things, it requires an analysis that I think is extremely intelligent. And I just want to say that: I've never seen like this in the world in terms of this line of connection. Somebody stumbled onto this line, extraordinary. I think it's absolutely remarkable, what's happening here.".
Sunday Talk on Evolution Solo Weekend 2016
"The better is Jazz, the less it is appreciated" - Frankie Martinez
Frankie Martinez and Annelys Pérez Castillo talking about the problems of preserving social dance art forms nowadays, the deepness and complexity of the folklore, how should the roots be respected and how the new must be created. Sunday Talk held on Evolution Solo Weekend 2016: Afro-Latin Edition in Casa Latina dance studio, St. Petersburg, Russia, September 23-25.
Professor of Mambo
"Multi-metric means multi-drums. Now how can you dance to that? The second great secret weapon is that different parts of the body move in different rhythms. Multiple meter demands mastery of self." Self-mastery requires coolness, not only in the heat of the dance, but as a way of life: "The highest value is reconciliation and generosity, to be at ease, to settle quarrels. Tranquility of mind. To be cool, wet, and silent. When you hear 'chill,' you're in the black aesthetic of the cool."
Yale Alumni Magazine
about Robert Farris Thompson
Jazz Is A Four Letter Word
Jazz doesn't exist
Why I partly agree that jazz is dead and why I like #jazzisafourletterword concept by Nicholas Payton... Because as soon as you give a certain name to a certain phenomenon in life, you immediately tag it (and kill it). Like, for example, the word "jazz". Look around, now everyone is such a big fan of jazz, everyone knows everything, talking, discussing and expressing his/her point of view on jazz. The word "jazz" in such an opinion appears 5 times in a sentence at least (that is a proof of his/her linguistic uncertainly and actually doubtful grounds that produced this opinion).

As soon as you go beyong the "tag", you start understanding more things. Then you stop insisting on your own view, this is jazz, and this is not jazz. And the further beyond the frames you go, the more you actually doubt that you know anything, and the more you are experimenting.
Some say jazz died in 1959. Some say jazz is a four letter word. Duke Ellington said, jazz is a tree. Max Roach said, jazz doesn't exist, and if it does exist, it is played by Gerry Mulligan and Benny Goodman :D

No, I believe in jazz, but now I definitely know it absorbed so many influences, that I dare to assume, it is a self deconstructing (and constructing) music form. It has certain rules and cores of genre, that are being destroyed and reborn all the time.

Not all music is jazz, but jazz is definitely All Music.
While concerning myself with the question, What Is Jazz? for the last couple of years, that pushed me to create my first longpiece, I came across this interview with the greatest, Duke Ellington (what wise of a man he is!). While commenting on the 4 categories the musicians were involved in that time (1963 is the year of this interview), which are: symphony, teaching, television and what is called jazz music, he is saying the following curious thing about how he sees the future of jazz:

"[...] All these 4 categories will be left without a category, even the category of jazz, because it is going to be accepted generally, and soon that music is music and there is not gonna be any symphonic music or jazz music. It just gonna be music, and if it sounds good, it's gonna be good music, and if doesn't - it won't be music." - Duke Ellington, 1963.
Art Blakey on jazz music and dance
Sometimes I wonder how jazz musicians can be a voice of their time, both in music and dance context. Speaking about the sophisticated relationship between jazz music and dance after swing era, read to Art Blakey speaking about old times of jazz dance: "I wonder if the people will start dancing again, because jazz is very much a danceable music. I remember when they did, and that was very nice, too. But people don't do it any more—and it's 'terrible. I think it'll come back."

And about post-swing music that was considered to be undanceable:
"The thing was, when this type of music came in, people were ignorant of it. Ignorance breeds fear, and fear breeds hate. They couldn't understand it; so they didn't want to listen. If they'd listened, they could dance to it."

If they'd listened, they could dance to it. - that's the key statement to link the jazz music itself with the enormous tradition and history of jazz dance. Thank you, Mr. Art Blakey!

I wonder if the people will start dancing again, because jazz is very much a danceable music. I remember when they did, and that was very nice, too. But people don't do it any more—and it's 'terrible. I think it'll come back.

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