GIORDANO (1923 - 2008)

Gus Giordano

Gus Giordano’s dedication to jazz dance exhibited itself in all facets of his extraordinary life: dancer, master teacher, choreographer, author, and founder of the Giordano Dance School (GDS) in Evanston, Illinois, founder of the dance company Giordano Dance Chicago and founder of Jazz Dance World Congress. Mr. Giordano created and taught the Giordano Technique at venues across the United States and around the world. He choreographed in all areas of performance including television, film, stage commercials, industrials, and concert dance. In 1976 Giordano wrote the highly acclaimed Anthology of American Jazz Dance. In August 1990, Giordano organized the first Jazz Dance World Congress, which gathered renowned jazz dance master teachers and companies. The Congress has been held at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Northwestern University, the University at Buffalo, Point Park University, as well as Phoenix, Chicago, Japan, Germany, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Gus Giordano received many awards including the 1984 Dance Educators of America Award for his outstanding contribution to the world of jazz dance, the 1988 Mayor’s Award for the Arts, the 1989 Governor’s Award for the Arts for exemplary individual artistic achievement, the 1991 Dance Teacher Now Circle Award, the 1993 Ruth Page Lifetime Service to the Field Award, and the 1996 University of Missouri Distinguished Alumni Award and William Francis English Scholar- in-Residence Award. In 1985, Governor James Thompson declared April 25 Gus Giordano Day. In 1995 he received the Honorable Artist Award from Chukyo University in Nagoya, Japan. In 1997 Gus served as National Spokesperson for National Dance Week. In 1999, he received the Third Annual Katherine Dunham Award for excellence and great contributions to the Arts, and in 2003, Chicago’s Mayor Daley presented Gus with the Chicago Senior of the Year Award. In 2005 the National Dance Association presented Mr. Giordano with its Heritage Award, and the same year he received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from Shenandoah University.