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Vicki Adams Willis (karma: 1)
By kabdancer Comments: 420, member since Sat Aug 21, 2004
On Sat Jun 25, 2005 04:01 PM
Decidedly Jazz Danceworks
Vicki Adams Willis - Artistic Director

For over 30 years Vicki Adams Willis has traveled the world studying and researching jazz dance in all of its guises, including historic forms and African-American vernacular dance. Teaching since 1966 and choreographing professionally since 1971, she has worked with countless organizations including The School at Jacob’s Pillow. In 1973 she began teaching at the University of Calgary where she later founded the jazz Division in the Faculty of Fine Arts’ Program of Dance. After 16 years, she left her tenured position to devote herself to the Decidedly Jazz Danceworks company and school, both of which she had co-founded in 1984.

Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD) was created in 1984 by Vicki Adams Willis, Hannah Stilwell and Michèle Moss with the goal of preserving and promoting the rich history and spirit of jazz. Now in its 21st year, DJD is one of the few professional dance companies world-wide with jazz music and dance as its raison d’être. Whenever possible DJD incorporates live music into its performances and classes, and has performed with music notables such as Mark Murphy, Big Miller, Tommy Banks, P.J. Perry and Jackie Richardson, as well as with tap notables Buster Brown, Josh Hilberman and Heather Cornell. The company’s trademark respect for and connection to the music has lead many to describe DJD performances as “music for the eyes.” The Calgary-based company has toured throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia and the Maritimes, as well as to Ottawa, Yellowknife, the Montréal Jazz Festival, Chicago, Japan and the Turks and Caicos Islands. DJD’s mandate includes a strong education component that encompasses The School of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, educational performances and a variety of educational outreach programs.

-taken from the Canada Council for the Arts site
Bios of Important Jazz Dancers/Choreographers
By TEAM_MOMmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2268, member since Tue Sep 21, 2004
On Sat Jul 02, 2005 09:45 AM
Remarkable. I'm still spinning off on some of this information.

Jack Cole... Oh yeah... :D
re: Bios of Important Jazz Dancers/Choreogr aphers
By neodancer Comments: 26, member since Fri Apr 20, 2007
On Sun Jun 03, 2007 09:34 PM
Thank you so much for putting this together. I'm trying to think of ways to incorporate more dance history into my classes and these bios are quite helpful!
re: Bios of Important Jazz Dancers/Choreogr aphers
By changinandhowmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 192, member since Sun Nov 18, 2007
On Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:32 PM
This is great! I was glad to see Frank Hatchett in there, I studied with him for a while (until he left BDC). It was nice to see the theatre performers like Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera in there as well.
re: Bios of Important Jazz Dancers/Choreogr aphers
By shannynanny Comments: 23, member since Fri Jun 01, 2007
On Sun Mar 23, 2008 09:18 PM
I saw Luigi with Liza last week. He is awesome. He's just a little bit older than my dance teacher and so similar in style. A lot is missing these days. I hope Luigi lives twenty more years!
re: Bios of Important Jazz Dancers/Choreogr aphers
By pointegrl22 Comments: 68, member since Fri Oct 24, 2008
On Thu Jan 15, 2009 07:15 PM
Why are they all guys?
re: Bios of Important Jazz Dancers/Choreogr aphers
By balletgurl03member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 219, member since Sat Jan 20, 2007
On Sat Apr 25, 2009 07:17 PM
Karma! This must have taken forever!

I love the Luigi style. It's so much fun, and makes me feel really...good. I get to go to New York this summer, so I'll definatnly stop in and take a class!
re: Bios of Important Jazz Dancers/Choreogr aphers
By shannynanny Comments: 23, member since Fri Jun 01, 2007
On Wed May 27, 2009 03:41 PM
Flawless work - props for knowing and noting the father, Luigi. We love him.
re: Bios of Important Jazz Dancers/Choreogr aphers
By miraclefrmheavnmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2068, member since Mon Jun 02, 2008
On Fri Jul 02, 2010 01:18 AM
Edited by Smile_when_dncng (197101) on 2010-07-02 01:25:58
In regards to Gwen Verdon, she also guest starred on "Fame the TV series" in the 1980s. In the episode, "Come One, Come All," she played Montgomery McNeil's mother, Melinda McNeil, who was an aging actress/dancer and no one wanted to hire her for lead roles anymore and she tried to take over the school's parent's day performance as a way of her getting Broadway Producers to notice her (Her character on the show's storyline).
re: Bios of Important Jazz Dancers/Choreogr aphers
By PassionDance Comments: 35, member since Tue Aug 24, 2010
On Wed Sep 01, 2010 09:58 AM
Thank you so much for this history lesson, I love to learn about these things!

You really like to help out I think you eh!

We need people like you.

I want to learn so much about dance, once again thank you for this post and for doing so much research!

Sof
re: Bios of Important Jazz Dancers/Choreogr aphers
By MaryLouHu Comments: 4, member since Sun Feb 23, 2014
On Mon Feb 24, 2014 09:27 AM
This is a fantastic source of information! I look forward to sharing it with my dancing daughter! I think it's important for them to know about the dance styles they are performing. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
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