Monday, May 30, 2016

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In Good Company

The art of dancing is probably as old as humanity itself, serving as catharsis for individuals and as social glue for communities. Joel Hall Dancers, Chicago's quintessential American jazz ballet company, give that age-old art form a modern face.

In a style baptized "urban jazz," the contemporary dance company channels the diversity of urban life through African-American spirituality and Latin beats. The company's multi-cultural approach is also reflected in the composition of its students, who come not only from the dance center's Andersonville headquarters but from across the city and its suburbs.

Since 1974, founder Joel Hall and faculty at his dance center have emphasized the development of each individual as a dancer and as a member of the community. Students choose from a variety of classes ranging from ballet to swing to North African dance. Sometimes the company takes its show out on the road, visiting schools and community groups.

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Check out some more of Chicago's jazz dance companies: Gus Giordano Jazz Dance and the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project.

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Joel Hall Dancers' production of Y2Day. Photo by Jennifer Girard Photography.

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Courtesy of Joel Hall Dancers. Photo by Marsha Cairo Photography.


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