2 3 Throwback Thursday and Jack Cole | Ballet Webb

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday and Jack Cole

Throwback Thursday and Jack Cole

Jack Cole, often called the “Father of Jazz Dance” began his career with Denishawn in the summer of 1930. When he joined the company he had essentially no training, but after only six weeks he was cast in a production. His early training was Cecchetti, but later he studied with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. He developed a style all his own that incorporated a low plié with steps that had a jazzy feel.

He later studied the Bharata Natyam technique of India and added it to his developing modern and jazz style. He was also influenced by dance in areas like Africa, the Caribbean and Harlem. Blending them all together he created his own technique, one that is often described as “slinky” or “cat-like”, involving abrupt changes of direction, isolations and knee slides.

Among his Broadway works were Magdalena (1948), Kismet (1953), Jamaica (1957), plus Donnybrook and Kean in 1961. At Columbia Pictures in Hollywood he started a workshop to train dancers. At Twentieth Century Fox he coached such stars as Ann Miller and Marilyn Monroe. Jack Cole’s films included Eadie Was a Lady (1945), Down to Earth (1947), On the Riviera (1951), and Some Like It Hot (1959).

Jack Cole was an inspiration to many of the most famous dancers and choreographers of the day, including Gwen Verdon, Matt Mattox, Marc Platt, Carol Haney, Rod Alexander and many others. He influenced the style of almost everything dancers do in jazz classes (and in some modern classes)today.

Jack Cole died in Los Angeles, California on February 17, 1974.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Dance History Factoid #104:  
Jack Cole was called “the Father of Jazz Dance”.

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“The trouble with choreography is you have to get the person out of the way before you can bring out the dancer.”
-          Jack Cole

                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

No comments:

Post a Comment