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.
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.
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.