INDIA JAZZ SUITES (also called Fastest Feet in Rhythm), featuring Pandit Chitresh Das and Jason Samuels Smith, is an explosive collaboration between one of India’s foremost Kathak masters and one of the world’s fastest, Emmy-award winning tap dancers. The result is high entertainment which crosses all boundaries of age, race and culture — a blast of incredible speed and power, grace and beauty, epic storytelling and the pure joy of dance.
As previewed in class last week, India Jazz Progressions will be performing their unique blend of Kathak (classical Indian dance) and tap dance in concert at Grand Performances, downtown LA. It is a free event, but parking downtown is definitely NOT free. However, there is parking very close to the event, and the last time I was in the area I paid $10 to park for the evening. The concert is outside, and since it is free, arriving early for a seat is HIGHLY recommended. Bringing food is also a good thing, and there are several places to buy food in the area as well, at varying price points, of course. The website for Grand Performances has all of the information in regards to directions, parking and the like. I realize the distance will be a factor, but if you can manage to get yourself (and maybe some of your friends) to carpool, you will experience a wonderful evening of dance! For those who need to stay closer to home, there are upcoming events in the Inland Empire as well!
Often, as the Fall Semester approaches I try to put off, for as long as possible, any work related tasks as if to stave off the last moments of summer fun. This year, I decided to tackle the big jobs of prep (syllabus, schedule and dance events calendar) in advance, and not suffer the pangs of regret as I run to Kinko’s an hour before the start of my first Dance 6 class. In a review of my notes from last Spring, and the student comment sheets, I felt directed and focused – tweaking assignments, the order of videos to be shown, the point value of each aspect of the class – everything comes under scrutiny, to be jettisoned or retained, based on my own internal compass which guides my overall approach for each semester.
I’m happy to report that so far, classes are going well, and students seem eager and attentive, especially after our “Getting to Know You” icebreaker. Today, the Labor Day Holiday provides a deep breath before plunging into the bulk of the semester (our next break comes in just over two months!) so, here we go!
Our next topic in Dance 6 is “The Power of Dance”, and I believe the following story is an excellent example of how dance can be a powerful magnet for some youngsters in a bleak situation.
One of Brazil’s poorest neighborhoods brings hope to some of its little girls through ballet
Reading your comments about this article and other posts throughout the semester will be interesting and fun – another way for me to get to know you. I will also be posting news about upcoming classes/performances for the Field Work/Approved Dance Concert Requirement, and any other extra-credit opportunities. Week one of the Fall 2014 semester is now complete – on to the next fifteen!