Brock Clawson

Fifty Years and One Weekend of Being Giordano Dance

Photo by Gorman Cook Photography

Giordano Dance Chicago is celebrating an unbelievable fifty years of being one of the most impressive dance companies anywhere, and as much as it's an incredible milestone for the Company, the significance of the celebration goes way beyond just the Company itself. Giordano Dance has accomplished the astonishing feat of being true to a brilliant and original vision, that of the legendary Gus Giordano, while continuing to change in remarkably diverse and creative ways. At the Company's site, giordanodance. org, they talk about their mission "to create and present new and innovative jazz dance choreography, often redefining and expanding the very definition of jazz dance", but that's an understatement.

Thodos Dance Chicago Fall Concert Presents Fosse Trilogy at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance

Thodos Dance Chicago’s 2009 Fall Concert is being presented at two venues, and the first performance, at The North Shore Center For The Performing Arts was a don’t-miss performance. The Centre East main theatre was packed for an exceptionally well-presented show, and the second installment, at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance, is Saturday, November 28 at 8:00 PM. For tickets, phone the Harris Theater at 312 334-777 or go to www.harristheaterchicago.org.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to what you can expect:

Choreographer Profile: Brock Clawson

Just got word of the launch of Chicago choreographer Brock Clawson’s new website (brockclawson.com, designed by Akio Satoh) and it’s really worth checking out. It’s a really entertaining trip through the world of a new, but already well-respected independent choreographer. This is a remarkable profession; the work of a choreographer begins with a commission from a dance company, which leads to a process that combines the extremes of completely free-form creativity with an astonishing amount of disciplined hard work.

The really free-form part comes at the start of the process. When I’ve worked with Brock, it always begins with a call from a company that wants him to set a work for them (that’s dance language for “choreograph a new work”). Most recently these have been from ThodosDanceChicago (www.thodosdancechicago.org), for “Nine”, from the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company (http://www.houstonmetdance.com) for “The Yawning”, and from Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago (http://www.giordanodance.org/company) for “Give and Take”, all of which were uncompromised successes.

Giordano Jazz Dance Premieres Give and Take

Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago

A really breathtaking Giordano show at the Harris last night, with a great company at their very best. Brock Clawson's new work Give and Take opened the second act, and seeing the company work seamlessly through Brock's perfect balance of modern and jazz styles was pretty amazing. Coming from such a different world (music and record producing) it's been a long process for me to get a sense of the difference between these two styles, but I can't think of a better way to see the different expressions that those two words "jazz" and "modern" imply than to see Give and Take.

Brock Clawson's new work "Give and Take" with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago

Before I got involved with 'ohana, whenever anybody asked me if I was a musician I would tell them "yeah, but I'm way too good of a producer to ever hire me as a musician", and I still think of myself as a producer more than as an artist. "Producing" can mean all different kinds of things, and it should mean all different kinds of things, depending on the artist and the project you're producing. But it always has to mean at least two things: first, that you're trying to see clearly what this artist is trying to do right now (even while they're still discovering it themselves), and second, that you're responsible for getting it done ---- for making sure that they can finish it the way they hoped to when they started it.

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