Pepsi Bethel's Jazz Dance Theatre, New York
AMERICAN JAZZ DANCE
AND THE ARTISTS WHO SHAPED IT
Giordano Dance Chicago celebrates and honors the diversity of the art form of American jazz dance. We champion jazz dance’s complex history of cultural integration, and illuminate its evolution from African traditions to its present incarnation as dynamic, vibrant, and multi-veined. GDC and the Giordano Technique could not exist without the influence of many Black artists including the great Katherine Dunham, one of Gus Giordano’s mentors and an inspiration in the development of the Giordano Technique.
Through this initiative GDC will create a resource center on our website where dance lovers can find information about those who shaped American jazz dance. Topics will include West African roots of jazz dance, the Savoy Ballroom era, and pioneers and innovators like Dunham, Pepsi Bethel, Joan Myers Brown, Frank Hatchett and more. The Movers, Shakers & Groundbreakers Initiative, launched in February 2021, celebrates American jazz dance history with an emphasis on the contributions of Black artists.
Photo of Talley Beatty by Eric M. Sanford.
Photo of Norma Miller (Savoy Ballroom) was without photo credit.
Photo of Josephine Baker is public domain and was colorized by Olga Shirnina.
Photo of Germaine Acogny by François Guddier.
All other photos from this page were found in the
Anthology of American Jazz Dance by Gus Giordano.