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Jump Rhythm Jazz Project
Chicago, IL

The Jump Rhythm Jazz Project (JRJP) is a company of rhythmically explosive, theatre-savvy dancer-singer-actors that performs and teaches nationally and internationally. JRJP was founded in 1990 in New York City by Billy Siegenfeld. In its first years, the company focused on the following projects: touring Romance in Swingtime, the chamber jazz musical featuring Billy Siegenfeld and his longtime associate Jeannie Hill; presenting the duo in jazz-tap teaching workshops; and sponsoring Siegenfeld in choreographic residencies with both professional and university companies. While touring Romance, dancers, educators and critics became aware of Siegenfeld and Hill's fresh take on the tradition of American rhythm dancing (Dance Magazine cited them as "a delightful latter-day Fred and Ginger"), and credited Siegenfeld with generating a style of dance built upon the rhythmic and dynamic foundations of classic jazz music.

This style, formalized in the Jump Rhythm Jazz Technique, favors an energy-rich, "rhythm-first" approach to teaching body movement based in the laws of natural motion. Different from ballet-based techniques, it emphasizes the percussive articulation of energy through all body parts democratically, rather than primarily through the legs. In the fall of 1997, following years of choreographing on commission or on pick-up companies, Siegenfeld decided to organize JRJP into an ensemble of eight dancers to train in the technique and rehearse repertory and new works on a regular basis.

Vital Statistics

Address:
  Jump Rhythm Jazz Project
  Billy Siegenfeld, Artistic Director
  836 Hinman Avenue
  Evanston, IL 60202

Phone:   (847) 869-2263

E-mail:   siggy@jrjp.org

Now based in Chicago, JRJP continues to grow as a company whose performances, workshops and classes celebrate the art of true jazz dancing - moving in joyous, high-energy bursts of body rhythms to the syncopated sounds of swinging jazz music, the blues, Latin jazz and jazz-tinged funk. In recognition of its unique approach to jazz dancing, the Third International Jazzdance Symposium in Helsinki has invited the company to perform there this August. Siegenfeld will be teaching classes at the Symposium with a faculty that includes Donald McKayle and Matt Mattox. JRJP is also featured annually in Chicago's prominent dance festivals like Dance Chicago, and has been presented on the prestigious dance season produced by the Dance Center of Columbia College. As well, the company performs its celebrated educational outreach show, "Jump Rhythm Jazz!," to thousands of public and private school children, both in Chicagoland and on tour. All of the members of JRJP, trained in the Jump Rhythm Jazz Technique's universal, non-elitist educational point of view, individually serve as resident guest teachers and choreographers in Chicago's high schools and private studios, and in choreographic residencies at universities across the country.

Visit the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project Web Site

 

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